North Platte claims council member

Saratoga Town Council member Steve Wilcoxson passes after boat capsizes on Friday afternoon


A weekend that was supposed to be one of triumph for high school graduates started off with tragedy as one Saratoga resident drowned on the North Platte River on May 29. 

According to a press release from the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office, a report was received at approximately 2:45 p.m. on Friday of a boat with three occupants capsizing on the North Platte River. The exact location was unknown, but was believed to be between Treasure Island and Kelley Cattle Company. A command post was established at the entrance to Kelly Cattle Company by Deputy Roger Hawks, who was one of the first to respond.

In addition to Hawk, Deputy Scott Allison and Deputy Darren Willis also responded to the incident as did Saratoga and Encampment Search and Rescue Units. After being called out, a boat was launched from Treasure Island to begin a search. Meanwhile, Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) member Tyler Christen launched a boat from Veteran’s Island to aid in the search.

Nearly an hour after the initial report, the three individuals were spotted on a small island in the middle of the North Platte River. Two of the occupants, a 66-year-old male and a 67-year-old female from Laramie, had survived the capsizing of the boat. Steve Wilcoxson, a 69-year-old resident of Saratoga and Saratoga Town Council member, did not survive.

At the time of his passing, Wilcoxson had served as Commander of Angus England American Legion Post 54 and had served on the Saratoga Town Council for over 10 years. Wilcoxson was a veteran of the Vietnam War and had worked in the coal mines in Hanna in the 1970s and 1980s.

He is survived by sons Trapper John Wilcoxson and Dylan Wilcoxson and grandson Drake Wilcoxson.

The members of search and rescue assisting the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office were; Cory Nuhn, Bryce Martin, Pat Waliser, Tylor Nuhn, Tyler Christen, Brad Cary, Scott Randall, Tate Stintson and Joe Gaudesi.

Following news of Wilcoxson’s passing, Mayor John Zeiger announced to council members and the media that the June 2 meeting would be a modified agenda and would include paying bills, approval of minutes and financials and the second reading of the 2020/20201 Fiscal Year budget.

“We would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Wilcoxson,” said Sheriff Archie Roybal in the press release.


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