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Ripple effect after fiery crash takes out only place to get gas, groceries, in Chugwater, Wyo.

  • 8bae125a938a570f310f6a7067008966.jpg

    This April 29,2013 photo shows an unidentified woman strolls down an otherwise empty street in Chugwater, Wyo. The 200 or so residents of Chugwater have had nowhere to get gas since a sport utility vehicle crashed into and burned down the Horton's Corner convenience store on Dec. 30,2012, which was the town's only gas station. Since then, people have had to drive at least 48 miles round-trip to fill up in a neighboring town. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver) (The Associated Press)

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    This April 29,2013 photo shows a charred beam that was all that remained of the Horton's Corner convenience store in Chugwater, Wyo., after a Dec. 30, 2012 fire caused by a sport utility vehicle that crashed into the store. Horton's Corner was the only place for miles around to get gas or groceries and may not be rebuilt for several months yet. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver) (The Associated Press)

  • 4350f81c938b570f310f6a706700bed1.jpg

    This April 29,2013 photo shows all that remained of the Horton's Corner convenience store, foreground in Chugwater, Wyo., after a Dec. 30, 2012 fire caused by a sport utility vehicle that crashed into the store. Horton's Corner was the only place for miles around to get gas or groceries and may not be rebuilt for several months yet. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver) (The Associated Press)

  • 7a42410b938b570f310f6a706700a95c.jpg

    This April 29,2013 photo shows all that remained of the Horton's Corner convenience store, foreground, in Chugwater, Wyo., after a Dec. 30, 2012 fire caused by a sport utility vehicle that crashed into the store. Horton's Corner was the only place for miles around to get gas or groceries and may not be rebuilt for several months yet. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver) (The Associated Press)

It all began when a man exited Interstate 25 and barreled into town one evening last winter.

A witness said John Barberini didn't brake before he crashed into the Horton's Corner convenience store Dec. 30, starting a fire that burned down the store and caused a massive lingering headache for the 200 people of Chugwater. Horton's Corner wasn't just any convenience store. It was the only place for miles around to get gas, the town's lone grocery store and one of its biggest employers. The fire cost a dozen people their jobs.

As for the gas problem? Four months after the fire, folks still have to drive at least 48 miles round trip to fill up.

All because of ... Well, the denizens of Chugwater aren't quite sure.

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