A man and a 10-year-old girl remained hospitalized with serious injuries Friday following a crash that killed the third person in the pickup, a 29-year-old woman from Virginia.
The coroner’s office has not released the woman’s name pending notification of the family.
Authorities continue to investigate the collision on Interstate 90 west of Butte between an empty cattle truck and the pickup carrying the three people.
The wreck occurred at about 4:20 p.m. Thursday near the Ramsay exit, about 8 miles west of Butte.
The Montana Highway Patrol recreated the wreck on Friday and interviewed witnesses, trooper Cody Ruane said.
The woman and man, 29, who was driving, were not wearing seatbelts. The girl was wearing her seatbelt incorrectly — she had the waist belt on, but not the shoulder strap, Ruane said. All three had to be extricated from the pickup.
The collision occurred after the eastbound cattle truck driver illegally turned into the emergency vehicle turnout and pulled into the westbound lanes. Ruane said the pickup struck the semi at “interstate speeds” and it appears the driver didn’t apply the brakes.
The semi driver, a 47-year-old Kansas man whose name has not been released, was treated at the hospital and released. Ruane said the semi driver will be cited for traffic violations including using the authorized vehicle turnout.
Officials, who suspect drugs or alcohol may have played a part in the collision, are awaiting blood test results from the State Crime Lab. Once finished, reports will be submitted to the county attorney’s office for review for criminal charges, Ruane said.
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