Tribal Liaison Wadda Killed in Rollover Crash in Johnson County
(Fort Washakie, Wyo.) – Wyoming is mourning the loss today of Edward Wadda, the popular Tribal Liaison for the Eastern Shoshone Tribe with Wyoming State Government, who was killed in a single vehicle rollover Thursday night near Buffalo. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at noon at Rocky Mountain Hall at Fort Washakie.
Information is still coming forward on the crash, but according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol’s dispatch center in Cheyenne, the crash occurred on Interstate 25 at mile post 270 in Johnson County Thursday night around 11 p.m. Apparently three other people in the vehicle traveling with Wadda were injured, but their identities and condition were not immediately available. According to unconfirmed reports, Wadda’s vehicle swerved to avoid hitting a deer, the driver overcorrected and rolled. Wadda apparently died at the scene. One of the vehicle’s passengers was apparently taken to the Buffalo hospital, another was life-flighted to Billings and the third was life-flilghted to Casper.
According to his many friends and colleagues who have been posting on Facebook and calling County10.com, Wadda had a big influence on family and friends, as well as the youth of Fremont County as he was a volunteer adviser for Wind River United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY). Members of Wind River UNITY are planning a memorial remembrance of Wadda Saturday at Lander City Park at 6:30 p.m.
According to Wadda’s last Facebook postings, he was in Gillette to watch John Soundingsides play in the annual Wyoming-South Dakota challenge basketball game.
Governor Matt Mead said “Ed was a caring person who always had the best interest of the Eastern Shoshone in his heart. It was a pleasure to work with him to continue to strengthen the relationship between the State of Wyoming and the Eastern Shoshone Tribe. It was tragic that Ed’s life was cut short. He will be greatly missed.”
Ivan Posey with the Eastern Shoshone Business Council described Wadda as a man that “Didn’t only talk the talk but he walked the walk.” During a conversation over the phone on Friday, Posey said ”I know the whole Wind River Reservation community is saddened today by the death of Eddie Wadda. His work with youth is tremendous. He has helped many young people along their journey.” He also spoke about how active Wadda was as a liaison, helping the relation between the state and tribe. ”He will be missed, he was my younger brother and I was blessed to have him in my life.”
Wadda, 42, has served as Tribal Liaison since October 2005.
This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.