A tragic crash on the evening of Jan. 16 involving a semitruck and a pickup truck claimed the life of a 9-year-old Harrison boy. The crash occurred on Highway 287 near Ennis.
According to the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP), the driver of the Ford F-150 pickup truck struck an elk. The truck, which apparently became disabled, was sitting in a northbound lane of the highway with its lights off when the semitruck hit it.
An MHP trooper said the semitruck driver didn’t see the pickup or the three occupants outside their vehicle until it was too late. He said the semi driver was not speeding and tried to avoid hitting the truck once he saw it. However, because of the size of the semi, which was carrying a full load, the driver wasn’t able to brake or swerve fast enough to avoid the crash.
The pickup truck’s driver and other passenger, a 12-year-old boy, were not injured. The 9-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
If a vehicle becomes disabled in a lane of traffic and can’t be moved, those inside of it can be in danger. So can other drivers. If this happens, it’s essential to act quickly to make sure that your vehicle is visible to others — especially at night. It hasn’t been reported why the pickup driver in this case didn’t turn the hazard lights on.
As noted, one of the dangers that large trucks present on the roads is that they often can’t react as quickly to unexpected conditions as smaller vehicles can. That’s why it’s always wise to give them a little extra room on the road — for everyone’s safety.