Spike in Vehicle Fatalities Over the Weekend, Five Deaths in Western Montana
The Montana Highway Patrol saw a spike in roadway fatalities over the weekend with at least six deaths since Friday. Montana Highway Patrol Captain Jim Kitchin who oversees Montana Highway Patrol District One, which includes Missoula County, has the numbers.
"There were six [fatalities] this weekend and I think there have been a total of 11 since the first of the month," Kitchin said. "We've had actually two fatal crashes in District One, with three deceased... remember to drive safe, wear your seat belts and take extra time getting to where you need to go, and, please drive sober, that's the big one."
The two fatal crashes in District One were both single vehicle accidents that occurred at high speeds. The first involved a motorcycle that crashed into a fence.
"One was on Secondary 269 down toward Stevensville, that was a motorcycle crash that we had on the 7th, the other crash was on the 7th as well and that was a male and female occupant 35-years-old and they hit a rock wall... and they were not restrained. We don't know if alcohol was a factor in that one, but it looks like speed was for sure."
Kitchin says investigations into both crashes are still underway and that alcohol and speed could have been factors in both. Of the five fatal crashes over the weekend, four occurred near western Montana towns including, Troy, Libby, Plains and Stevensville.