updated 10/31/2003 1:34:20 AM ET 2003-10-31T06:34:20

A deadly storm slammed into the northern Rocky Mountain region, dumping snow on parts of Wyoming and Utah and causing temperatures to plunge suddenly by up to 50 degrees.

TRAVEL WAS hazardous across Wyoming, with dozens of highway collisions, and a pilot was killed when his plane crashed in Cody.

In central Wyoming, at least 9 inches of snow had fallen around Lander and about 7 inches was reported in Casper from early Wednesday to Thursday morning, and double that was expected before the storm ended around Sunday.

Northern Utah saw up to 8 inches. Snow in Montana was light, but winds were sharp and forecasters said temperatures could drop below zero on Halloween night. In Colorado, freezing rain along the eastern plains stopped two wildfires in their tracks.

Parts of Wyoming remained under a winter-storm warning through Friday morning, and temperatures were expected to stay in the 20s, a sharp contrast to Wednesday’s 60s and 70s.

Many truckers took heed.

“We have 15 acres of paved parking, and it’s all full,” said Teresa Gaylord, a cashier at Casper’s Eastgate Travel Plaza.

At Cody, a cargo plane crashed during snow and rain Wednesday morning and slid into an icy lake, killing pilot Donald Rhodes, 37.

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