A large wreck along Interstate 94 sent several passengers and drivers to local hospital facilities after a crash earlier this month, according to local reports. The car accident occurred at about 9 a.m., said officials, when a pickup truck towing a motor home struck ice and lost control, plunging into a guardrail.
The driver of that vehicle, a 58-year-old man, sustained minor injuries in connection with the accident and was taken to the hospital in a privately owned vehicle.
A Dodge sedan and Plymouth van were both driving behind the motor home, and neither driver was able to avoid a collision. The 48-year-old driver of the sedan, along with her 52-year-old and 7-year-old passengers, sustained minor injuries when they collided with the truck.
The van attempted to avoid the pile-up, but it ultimately crashed into a guardrail. Both occupants of that vehicle were taken to medical facilities after sustaining serious injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.
Troopers say that visibility was limited that morning because of fog, and conditions on the roads were icy.
It is not clear whether the driver of the truck will face criminal charges in connection with the accident. Local media sources did not report that the man had been drinking or speeding, though it is possible that fatigue, alcohol or speed may have played a role in the accident. Even if the man does not face criminal sanctions because of the wreck, he may be subjected to civil litigation in connection with the accident.
The drivers and passengers in the other vehicles all sustained injuries, so they might require assistance with their medical bills. Furthermore, the drivers' cars were damaged in the incident, which could warrant some level of compensation from the person who caused the wreck. If any of the occupants are prevented from working because of their injuries, loss of income could also be a valid claim against the person found to be at fault.
Law enforcement officials say their investigation is still ongoing.
Source: The Billings Gazette, "Injuries reported in accidents on I-94 near Ballantine exit," Carmen Irish, Oct. 6, 2012.