1 seasonal worker dead, 1 injured in separate worksite crashes near Promontory

The two employees worked in Box Elder County, traveling around and spraying noxious weeds.

(Courtesy Box Elder County) William Kossman, who died Tuesday in an OHV crash, is pictured with his wife, Joy Kossman.

One seasonal weed-control worker is injured and another is dead after they were both involved in separate off-highway vehicle (OHV) crashes Tuesday in the Promontory area, according to a Box Elder County news release.

Both employees worked for the county and would spray noxious weeds at various locations, said Anne Hansen, Box Elder County deputy attorney. The man who died was identified in a Wednesday news release as 69-year-old William Dwaine Kossman.

On Tuesday, a law enforcement ranger with Utah State Parks was called to help investigate an OHV crash that afternoon near Promontory Road, the release stated. While the ranger was at that scene, he received a call at about 1:40 p.m. to help at the scene of a second OHV crash about a half-mile away.

The first employee suffered a “serious injury” and was transported to a hospital, according to the release. He remains hospitalized, and his name hasn’t been released.

Kossman died at the scene. Officials believe neither man had been wearing a helmet.

“It’s incredibly sad news, and we’re just all working on the investigation to find out exactly what happened so we know how to move forward,” Hansen said.

(Box Elder County) The Promontory area above where two OHV crashes occurred is photographed Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

Kossman, who had been known as “Frenchy,” started as a seasonal worker in the weed control department in spring 2020, county officials said. He’d been working his third season with the county.

“We can’t come up with enough words to describe William Dwaine Kossman, affectionately known as Frenchy,” his family said in a statement. “His hands were always full, whether he was bringing you something, fixing something or adding his personal touch. He will be extremely missed by all who knew him.”

To avoid a conflict of interest, Hansen said, Utah State Parks will be investigating, as will the Utah Occupational Safety and Health Division.

“With the weather warming up and more people headed outside, Utah State Parks would like to remind everyone that while Utah’s outdoors are beautiful places to explore, safety needs to be a top priority,” the agency said in a statement.

Promontory is an area of high ground at the north end of the Great Salt Lake, and it’s where the first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869.

Correction: June 22, 2:48 p.m. • This story has been updated to clarify where the transcontinental railroad was completed.