Names released of two people killed in crash west of Hot Springs

HOT SPRINGS, S.D. (Press Release) – Names have been released of the two people killed Friday night in a vehicle-pedestrian crash  west of Hot Springs.


A 2002 Subaru Impreza was eastbound on U.S. Highway 18 when the driver, 25-year-old Rueben Gilbert who was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base, lost control. The vehicle entered the east ditch and rolled.

The vehicle’s driver was able to exit the vehicle. A second driver, 27-year-old Christopher Swope of Wheat Ridge, CO, stopped to provide assistance.

As the two men stood in the ditch near the Subaru, the driver of an approaching eastbound 2016 Freightliner semi-truck hauling a flatbed trailer lost control due to the icy road conditions. The truck and trailer jackknifed, entered the east ditch and struck the two other men. Both pedestrians were pronounced dead at the scene.

The 27-year-old truck driver, Gjorgi Djatev of Jackson, N.D, suffered serious non-life threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance to a hospital in Hot Springs. He was wearing a seatbelt.

U.S. Highway 18 in that area was closed to traffic for about six hours.

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is conducting the investigation.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol is part of the Department of Public Safety.