Aspen Music Festival students killed Monday reportedly drove into oncoming traffic |

Aspen Music Festival students killed Monday reportedly drove into oncoming traffic

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times
The tuba player, far right, Ben Darneille, and the trumpet player, in the middle, is Alex Greene. Both Aspen Music School students reportedly died Monday night in a car accident in Wyoming.
Facebook photo |

Two Aspen Music Festival and School students who were killed in a car accident Monday in Wyoming were driving in the oncoming traffic lane of a highway and hit a semi-truck head on, according to a statement from the Wyoming Highway Patrol.

“Drug use and driver inattention are being investigated as contributing factors in this crash,” according to the statement.

Alexander Greene, 23, was driving a 2011 Ford Escape northbound in the southbound lane of U.S. 191, about 11 miles north of Farson, Wyoming, when he hit a southbound semi-truck pulling two trailers head-on, the statement says. Greene was driving faster than the speed limit, the statement says.

The semi-truck driver tried to avoid the crash but could not, according to the statement. Both Greene and Benjamin Darneille, 21, died at the scene. The truck driver was taken to a hospital in Rock Springs, where he was treated and released, the statement says. All three men were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

A phone message left for the supervisor in the Wyoming Highway Patrol Office nearest the crash seeking more information was not returned Wednesday.

Farson is located north of Rock Springs, about half way to Pinedale, Wyoming.

Greene, who played the trumpet, and Darneille, a tuba player, were both members of the music school’s fellowship brass quintet, Rendezvous Brass. They had recently finished the school’s summer program. The two were close friends, according to Darneille’s Facebook page.

Greene grew up in Orlando, Florida, and attended DePaul University in Chicago, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance, according to a biography he wrote that was sent to The Aspen Times by his mother. He was studying at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia at the time of his death.

Greene first played trumpet in sixth grade and studied the instrument through high school, according to the biography.

“In his free time Alex enjoys eating various cuisines and riding his bike as quickly as possible,” Greene wrote in his biography.

Darneille grew up in Rochester, Illinois, and attended DePaul University.