A string of severe car accidents has left three people dead and two injured on Montana roads, according to police reports. Two of the accidents occurred in north-central Montana. Although winter road conditions may have played a role in the accidents, drunk driving is suspected to have attributed to at least two fatalities.
A 22-year-old Hill County man was killed during a single-vehicle crash in Box Elder. The man was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a 16-year-old female, according to official reports. The SUV the girl was driving drifted off the road near a creek, destroying three mailboxes before plunging into the icy water. The front end of the vehicle was completely submerged as a result of the accident. The driver and another 16-year-old passenger were hospitalized at Northern Montana Hospital. Officials say that drunk driving was likely a factor in the crash. Additionally, no one in the car was wearing a seatbelt.
Another early morning fatal motor vehicle accident resulted in the death of a 49-year-old South Dakota woman. The woman was killed near Lewistown. She was a passenger in a semi-truck that rolled, pinning her inside the vehicle. The driver reported that the accident was caused by his attempts to avoid an animal that had run into the road. The overcorrection caused the truck to go off the highway and detach from its trailer unit. Authorities report that speed and alcohol did not contribute to the accident, and both vehicle occupants were wearing their seatbelts.
In addition, a single-vehicle accident killed a 29-year-old Kalispell driver. The man's vehicle rolled off the road in Flathead County. Drunk driving was a factor in the crash, according to the Montana State Highway Patrol.
In yet another harrowing accident in Bonner, a 19-year-old male driver experienced a head-on collision with a 27-year-old female driver after losing control of his vehicle on an icy curve. Although neither of the drivers was severely injured, the woman required a number of stitches. Authorities report that the man was driving too fast for the winter road conditions, but neither of the drivers had been drinking.
Source: Great Falls Tribune, "Three die in separate crashes around Montana," Kimball Bennion, Feb. 18, 2012
Source: 8KPAX.com, "Drivers okay after Bonner head-on crash," Breanna Roy, Feb. 21, 2012