CASPER — An auto accident 50 miles west of Casper took the life of a Kemmerer teen Saturday, Dec. 28, along with her sister who was living in Riverton, and left another young sibling and their mother in the hospital.
Moeniqa D. Produit, 18, of Kemmerer and Michelle M. Allen, 13, of Riverton, were traveling in a vehicle on U.S. Highway 20/26 that reportedly crossed the centerline and hit an on-coming vehicle head on.
“When I was down, she could turn my day around,” Christina Sundar, one of Produit’s friends, said Monday. “She wasn’t really negative at all. And she wasn’t fake; you knew if she liked you or not.”
Produit and Allen were sisters and were traveling with their mom, Stacy M. Wilcox of Riverton, 38, and little sister Holly C. Allen, 9, who were both transported to Wyoming Medical Center after the crash. As of press time, both were still in the medical facility and listed in stable condition.
According to a press release issued by the Wyoming Highway Patrol, Produit, who was driving the vehicle, and Michelle Allen were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
Thomas Presgrove, 48, of Fort Washakie was operating the second vehicle and had two passengers: Suzanne Presgrove, 52, of Fort Washakie and Fernalia Savage, 9, of Riverton.
Thomas and Suzanne Presgrove were treated and released from the Wyoming Medical Center and Savage was reportedly transported to Riverton Memorial Hospital.
According to witnesses at the scene, a pickup truck pulling a horse trailer was jackknifed on the roadway, causing blockage. Produit, who was driving westbound, lost control of her vehicle and crossed the centerline into the opposite lane of travel, according to the press release.
“Light snowfall was falling at the time of the crash and the roadway was partly ice covered,” according to the release.
A prayer service followed by a wake for Produit was held Thursday evening and a funeral service will be held today, Friday, Jan. 3, at 10 a.m. at the Blue Sky Hall. Burial will follow at the Hudson Cemetery.
Produit’s family and friends said she’ll be sorely missed.
“She was a really lively person,” Sundar said. “She was very funny. She could make anyone laugh.”
Sandra Escareno, a close friend, also said how funny Produit was.
“She is the funniest person I have ever met,” Escareno said. “She has a really funny personality and she’s always been there for others when they needed her. She’s a caring person.”
That, perhaps, is why she was studying at the University of Wyoming to be a social worker.
“Everyone looked up to Moeniqa,” Raymond Produit, Moeniqa Produit’s father, said Monday. “She was really looking forward to helping other kids.”
Her father said she also loved to cook and go shopping.
Raymond Produit’s wife, Crystal Produit, said Moeniqa Produit was destined to succeed.
“She was bright. She’s funny. She loved her family. She definitely wanted to succeed; she was very determined,” she said.
And that was a trait she shared with her sister, Michelle Allen, according to the Produits.
“She was also very determined, like Moeniqa,” Crystal Produit said. “She was very high-spirited, loving and loved her family.”
Raymond and Crystal Produit moved to Kemmerer from Riverton about two and a half years ago. They said the group was on their way home from a weekend trip to Casper when the accident occurred.