The adventures of PHS junior, Kenneth Bettger

Nathan Feller

More stories from Nathan Feller

May 2, 2023

Photo Courtesy Of Kenneth Bettger

Bettger returns, the morning after, to the charred remains of his truck

Winter Formal night is infamous for its post-dance shenanigans. Celebrations, parties and broken curfews can all contribute to some interesting and wild stories. 

Kenneth Bettger, a junior at PHS, experienced a formal night he will likely never forget after his pickup went up in flames in the early morning of Nov. 20.

“It started off like any other night,” Bettger said. “A few buddies and I were heading out to Greybull to hangout with a couple more buddies down there.”

Bettger and company arrived in Greybull safe and sound, but the night was far from over.

“It was such a good night, you know,” Bettger said. “Nothing was going wrong. Then, sometime during the night, one of the guys’ friends started hitting on his girlfriend, and that caused everyone to start fighting.”

The situation in Greybull continued to escalate, and many, including Bettger, decided it was for the best to remove themselves from the area.

“At this point I thought it was time to get out of there,” Bettger said. “So I was headed home in my truck, and I got stuck in a snow drift when I tried to flip a U-turn.”

After a failed attempt to free his truck, Bettger called for help, but, in the now early morning hours, he drew no response.

“I couldn’t get a hold of anyone [after my truck got stuck],” Bettger said. “I made the worst mistake of my life, and decided to sleep in my truck with the engine running for heat.”

He awoke, shortly after nodding off, to a loud explosion and a wave of heat.

“I saw a huge fire coming from my engine,” Bettger said. “So I jumped out of my window, and as soon as I hit the ground, I just passed out from carbon monoxide poisoning.”

I saw a huge fire coming from my engine, so I jumped out of my window, and as soon as I hit the ground, I just passed out from carbon monoxide poisoning.

— Kenneth Bettger

Though originally a tragedy, Bettger’s blazing truck was a blessing in disguise as it was the only protection from the harsh winter elements.

“I think I woke up around an hour and a half later,” Bettger said. “I was super dizzy, but I started wandering around and yelling for help.”

Bettger’s cries for help were to no avail, however, and he was left with no choice but to make the nearly seven mile trek back to Greybull.

“Once I made it back to Greybull I was able to warm up at a friend’s house,” Bettger said. “I still can’t believe I made it through that night.”