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FedEx driver charged for crash that killed a young Wyoming woman

Posted at 12:59 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 15:04:25-04

BILLINGS — A FedEx driver accused of crashing into two vehicles, killing a 23-year-old woman in December 2020, could spend up to one year in jail for causing the crash.

Todd A. Kohler of Sheridan, Wyoming, was arrested on May 18 and booked into the Sheridan County Detention Center. He faces one charge of misdemeanor homicide by vehicle. The charge carries a maximum punishment of one year in jail, or a fine of up to $2,000, or both.

He entered a not guilty plea on Thursday and was released from jail after paying a $200 cash bond.

The charge comes more than five months after the crash happened on December 8 on Highway 338 north of Sheridan.

Court documents state Kohler was driving 60 to 65 miles per hour when he crashed into the back of a crossover SUV driven by Shariah L. Harper, 23 years old, of Sheridan.

An investigation by Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers showed Harper slowed down as the vehicle in front of her was negotiating a left turn onto the road.

A witness at the scene told troopers Kohler, who was driving a Ford F-250 FedEx pickup truck, did not slow down before crashing into Harper’s vehicle. The impact caused Harper to strike the vehicle in front of her, then she went off the roadway, through a fence, and came to rest in a field.

Data from the investigation showed moments before impact, Harper began slowly accelerating and going around the Chevrolet Silverado that was waiting to turn left.

Troopers determined Kohler slowed from 65 to 60 mph just 21 feet before the collision, and he reacted just tenths of a second before driving into Harper’s SUV.

Kohler told troopers he was distracted by a handheld GPS mobile device used for deliveries, which was found in the truck’s passenger seat after the crash.

Data provided by FedEx showed Kohler’s last delivery was at 11:47 a.m. that day, and the crash occurred three minutes later, around 11:50 a.m. A blood test was conducted on Kohler and it showed he did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the crash.

The vehicles involved were also inspected for possible mechanical problems, but no issues were discovered.

When officers arrived at the scene, Harper was properly seat-belted into her vehicle and unresponsive.

Several officers, EMTs, and a nurse at the scene conducted CPR on her until she was taken to the hospital via ambulance, where she was pronounced dead.

MTN tried to contact FedEx for comment, but has not yet heard back.