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(Riverton, Wyo.) – A 41-year-old male identified as James E. Caples of Riverton was killed around 8:30 pm Friday, May 26th, when his motorcycle rear-ended a parked vehicle on West Main Street.

James E. Caples

According to Riverton Police Captain Todd Byerly, Caples was driving eastbound on West Main near its intersection with College View Drive when he struck the rear of a parked SUV that had pulled over to watch a controlled burn that had gotten out of control. The Riverton Fire Department was at the scene responding to the fire.

“Several vehicles had pulled over to watch, you could see it (the fire) pretty good from both directions, and, according to several witnesses, the motorcycle swerved, but hit the back of the SUV.” The posted speed at the site was 45 mph. Neither Caples, nor a 38-year-old female passenger on the bike, were wearing helmets. Caples died at the scene. His passenger was taken to SageWest Hospital Riverton for treatment of what Byerly said “were apparently non life threatening injuries.”

The Wyoming Highway Patrol and numerous RPD officers responded to the scene. Byerly said the State Trooper helped with pinpointing specific GPS points to create an accurate report of the crash. He said the RPD appreciated the Trooper’s help with the investigation.

The death was the 36th on state roadways this year, compared with 22 fatalities at this same time last year.

See Caples’ obituary here.