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73-year-old pedestrian killed on Billings sidewalk

An elderly pedestrian was killed as a result of a morning car crash in Billings recently. The 73-year-old man was hit by a pickup truck during the car accident at about 7 a.m., according to official reports.

The driver of the black Chevrolet pickup truck, an 18-year-old man from Billings, reportedly lost control of the vehicle. The truck leapt onto the sidewalk while attempting to turn. The roadways were still slick from an earlier rainfall, according to officers, which likely caused the young man to lose control. Reports indicate that the young man ran into the pedestrian first before hitting the side of a building.

After striking the building, the truck spun around in the roadway, eventually coming to rest facing east in the westbound lane of traffic. The pickup sustained damage to its front end, but the occupant of the vehicle was not injured in the collision, according to reports from the scene.

The official cause of the pedestrian's death was blunt-force trauma to the neck and torso, according to local physicians. Investigators say the victim was transported to St. Vincent Healthcare, where he died shortly after the accident. Traffic was diverted through the town as officers attempted to reconstruct the crash at the intersection.

It is unclear whether any family members will pursue a wrongful death suit against the driver. Also, officers have not formally charged the driver with any crimes, and it is not yet clear whether alcohol was a factor in the crash. As more information comes to light, the details of the crash should reveal whether any extenuating circumstances caused the wreck. This information will be important if the family of the deceased man decides to seek justice in civil court.

Source: The Billings Gazette, "Pedestrian hit, killed by pickup on Montana Avenue," Zach Benoit, June 20, 2012

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