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Head-on collision kills female car passenger

A tragic head-on collision at night on Highway 260 recently resulted in the untimely death of a 36-year-old woman from Bonner, Montana. She was traveling in a car driven by her husband at approximately 11:30 p.m. on a Friday when another vehicle traveling east on the highway driven by a teenage boy wandered across the center line in the road, resulting in the collision. Authorities suspect that careless or impaired driving by the teenager may have caused the accident.

Both the woman's husband and her 11-year-old daughter, also a passenger in the vehicle, suffered injuries from the impact. Both were given emergency care at the scene of the accident and then taken to a nearby hospital by emergency responders for examination and medical treatment. The 17-year-old driver of the other vehicle also suffered injuries and was hospitalized.

The woman, who apparently was the only person in either vehicle not wearing a seat belt, suffered critical injuries which proved to be fatal. Efforts by medical personnel to save her life proved unavailing. She died at the scene of the accident shortly after it occurred.

Personnel from the Missoula County Sheriff's Department were summoned to the scene, where they assisted the injured, called for ambulances, and commenced an investigation to gather physical and testimonial evidence.

While the investigation of the causes of the fatal accident is still ongoing, preliminary information, according to law enforcement officials, indicates that use of alcohol by the teen driver may have played a role in causing the crash. They also have said that it appears that the teen motorist was either distracted, passed out (possibly as a result of an unidentified medical condition or illness) or had fallen asleep behind the wheel at the time the accident occurred.

The woman's surviving family may have a viable claim against the teen driver for wrongful death as well as for recovery of damages and expenses to compensate them for their own personal injuries.

Source: Missoulian, "Bonner woman killed in head-on crash on Highway 200," Sept. 29, 2012.

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