Winter weather brought with it a Gallatin County car accident on a recent morning that could have been catastrophic. While it appears the incident was perhaps a combination of icy conditions and an inexperienced driver, thankfully no one was seriously injured.
The auto accident occurred about 10 miles east of Bozeman at 7:40 a.m. A teenage driver with two passengers was headed to Mount Ellis Academy when her SUV began to slide on an icy patch of roadway. The driver overcorrected and slid sideways toward the LaMotte Elementary School parking lot, pushed through a railing and down some steps before colliding with the front entrance of the school.
Fortunately, the car accident happened before elementary school students were due to arrive. The teenage driver and her passengers, all wearing seat belts, were uninjured. After colliding with the school's east-facing breezeway, the SUV knocked in the wall of the sixth-grade classroom, knocking books off the shelves and disabling the heating system. While there was obviously substantial property damage, there were fortunately no physical injuries reported.
Car accidents can happen in a moment's time, and there is no telling what the result will be. Something that looks innocuous can often result in serious injury or death, and something that has the face of devastation can yield not a single injury. The lesson, of course, is to be careful and drive safely. Police cited the SUV driver for careless driving. While it does not appear that she will need to answer claims for personal injury, she may well incur liability for the damage done to school property.
Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, "SUV crashes into LaMotte school," Jason Bacaj, Dec. 2, 2011