One driver was injured and another was killed in a crash on Nov. 23 near Twin Bridges. Montana Highway Patrol officers confirm that a 70-year-old Dillon driver died at the scene of the truck accident, which involved a Ford pickup truck and a tractor-trailer rig. The driver who perished was in the smaller vehicle.
It appears that the pickup truck was struck by the semi trailer when the larger vehicle attempted to pass several cars while driving along Highway 41. The pickup truck attempted to make a left turn in front of the semi rig, which caused the larger vehicle to rear-end the Ford. That car rolled down a nearby embankment, according to reports. The occupant who died was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident. The other drivers were wearing their seatbelts.
A 38-year-old man, the passenger in the Ford, was flown by helicopter to nearby medical facilities with serious injuries. His medical condition remains unknown at this time.
Patrol officers say the crash was not caused by speed or alcohol, and the accident is still under investigation. The death brings the number of fatalities on Montana roads to 192, slightly higher than the 2011 total of 187.
The surviving vehicle occupant may choose to file a suit against the estate of the errant driver. Officers have not said who was at fault for the accident, but the surviving victim could sue the Ford driver if the crash was caused by his actions. Similarly, the estate of the deceased victim could also join in a lawsuit if the crash was caused by the truck driver. In that case, not only would the truck driver be liable for the injuries and property damage, but the company that owns the truck would also be held financially responsible.
Claims could be filed for wrongful death, pain and suffering, personal injury, loss of income and a variety of other factors.
Source: The Montana Standard, "One killed, one injured in Twin Bridges crash," Nov. 25, 2012.