Names of 3 UW swimmers killed in Colorado crash released

Feb. 23—LARAMIE — Three University of Wyoming swimmers were killed in a single-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 287 in northern Colorado on Thursday afternoon, and two others were injured.

Carson Muir, 18, Charlie Clark, 19, and Luke Slabber, 21, all died in the crash, which happened around 2:45 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Highway 287 and Red Mountain Road, northwest of Livermore in Larimer County, Colorado.

The crash happened when the Toyota RAV4 SUV with five people inside swerved and went off the pavement, and the vehicle rolled over multiple times, according to the Associated Press. Two people were ejected.

"I am heartbroken to learn of the tragic deaths of three University of Wyoming student-athletes in a motor vehicle accident on U.S. 287 in Colorado," Gov. Mark Gordon said in a prepared statement. "Jennie and I join the entire university community and all of Wyoming in mourning this loss, and we ask you to keep their families, friends and loved ones close to your hearts during this difficult time."

Muir was a freshman on the women's team, specializing in the freestyle and butterfly events. She came to UW from Birmingham, Alabama, and was majoring in animal and veterinary sciences.

Clark was a sophomore on the men's team, majoring in psychology. The Las Vegas native primarily competed in distance freestyles and individual medleys for the Cowboys.

Slabber grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and swam in the sprint freestyle, breaststroke and individual medley for the Cowboys. He was majoring in construction management.

"We are heartsick at the news of this terrible tragedy for our university, our state, our student-athlete community and, most importantly, the families and friends of these young people," UW President Ed Seidel said in a news release. "Words are insufficient to express our sadness."

Two others were injured in the crash, and both were also members of the men's swimming and diving team. Both were released from the hospital Friday, according to a Colorado State Patrol statement that did not identify the survivors.

The driver may have been avoiding a vehicle ahead that had slowed, possibly to make a turn, according to the state patrol statement.

The accident was still being investigated. Possible causes, including driving too fast, impairment and distractions, were not being ruled out, the statement says.

Two people were ejected from the vehicle, but the statement didn't say who they were or whether they were wearing seat belts. The SUV was headed south and not on an official team trip, according to the patrol.

"My thoughts and prayers are with our swimming and diving student-athletes, coaches, families and friends," UW athletics director Tom Burman said. "It is difficult to lose members of our University of Wyoming family, and we mourn the loss of these student-athletes.

"We have counseling services available to our student-athletes and coaches in our time of need."

The Cowgirls are currently competing in the Mountain West championships this week in Houston, Texas. Swimmers from Colorado State University in Fort Collins honored their Wyoming rivals at the meet with the Wyoming logo and "WYO" with a heart drawn on their skin, according to AP reports.

The Cowboys are scheduled to compete in the Western Athletic Conference championships next week in Texas.

UW has a long history with tragedy on Highway 287. In September 2001, eight members of UW's cross-country team — Kevin Salverson, 19, of Cheyenne; Justin Lambert-Belanger, 20, of Timmins, Ontario, Canada; Cody Brown, 21, of Hudson, Colorado; Kyle Johnson, 20, of Riverton; Joshua Jones, 22, of Salem, Oregon; Morgan McLeland, 21, of Gillette; Nicholas Schabron, 20, of Laramie; and Shane Shatto, 19, of Douglas — were killed by a drunken driver in a two-vehicle collision south of Laramie.

In 2010, Ruben Narcisse, 19, a football player from Miami, Florida, was killed six miles south of the state line after a driver of the vehicle he was in fell asleep at the wheel.

In 2021, three University of Wyoming students were killed when their car slid on icy pavement and was struck by an oncoming vehicle near the scene of Thursday's wreck, according to the AP.

The Wyoming House and Senate paused for a moment of silence for the victims and their families Friday morning.

"We are shocked and saddened at the news of this terrible loss," Albany County Reps. Ocean Andrew, Karlee Provenza, Trey Sherwood and Ken Chestek, and Sens. Daniel Furphy and Chris Rothfuss said in a news release. "Our student-athletes are a source of pride for our community and state.

"Your Albany County delegation stands ready to work with the families and university faculty, staff and students impacted by this tragedy to provide resources for healing."

UW students in need of support are encouraged to contact the university's counseling center at 307-766-2187. The counseling center is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and is prepared to support students. Students can also call an after-hours crisis counselor at 307-766-8989.

The Dean of Students Office, 307-766-3296, is available for any well-being support or academic assistance students may need.

UW employees may seek assistance through the Employee Assistance Program — specifically, MINES & Associates, at 1-800-873-7138.

A GoFundMe account was created by the university to raise money for funeral and travel expenses. Donations can be made at

Alex Taylor is the assistant editor for WyoSports and covers University of Wyoming athletics. He can be reached at Follow him on X at @alex_m_taylor22.