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Distracted FedEx driver charged in fatal Wyoming crash 5 months later, could serve up to 1 year in jail

Posted at 12:12 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 14:56:34-04

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

Todd A. Kohler, 53, of Sheridan, 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 afternoon and was released from jail after paying a $200 cash bond.

The charge comes more than five months after the crash happened on Dec. 8, 2020, on WY HWY 338 north of Sheridan.

Court documents state Kohler was driving 60 to 65 mph when he crashed into the back of a crossover SUV driven by Shariah L. Harper, 23, 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 WY HWY 339.

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 on the scene, Harper was properly seat belted into her vehicle and unresponsive.

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

Q2 reached out to FedEx for comment on Friday but has not heard back.

RELATED: Woman killed, 2 injured in northern Wyoming crash caused by distracted FedEx driver