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The Colorado man killed Monday in heavy eclipse traffic in Wyoming died when he was struck by an SUV attempting to pass other vehicles, the Wyoming Highway Patrol reported Wednesday.

Palmer Kauffman, 65, of Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, was passing vehicles on his 2015 Harley-Davidson just before 12:30 p.m. in bumper-to-bumper traffic headed south on Wyoming 487 near Medicine Bow. A 2004 Nissan Xterra pulled out of the 30 mile per hour traffic near milepost 29 in an attempt to pass and hit Kauffman, according to the highway patrol.

Kauffman was thrown from his bike and hit a delineator post.

Kauffman was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Driver inattention was listed as contributing to the crash. A highway patrol spokesman could not say Wednesday if the driver of the Xterra had been arrested or charged in relation to the incident.

Eclipse traffic led to clogged highways across Wyoming. The Wyoming Department of Transportation reported a 536,000-car increase over the five-year average for that day, almost 68 percent more than normal.

State troopers responded to more than 1,800 calls on Monday — more than triple the number from the same day in 2016.

Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson


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