Totaled

A Billings police officer checks the interior of a vehicle that was involved in a crash on North 13th Street and 4th Avenue North on Thursday.

BRONTE WITTPENN, Gazette staff

Three people were taken to the hospital on Thursday evening after an apparent wrong-way driver crashed into another car in East Billings.

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4th Avenue crash

The front of a vehicle is smashed after a multi-vehicle crash on North 13th Street and 4th Avenue North on Thursday.

Montana Highway Patrol had been pursuing a car near MetraPark, but stopped when the car turned onto Fourth Avenue North going the wrong way. Two passengers were in the car as well as the driver.

The car collided head-on with another car driven by a teenage girl southbound on North 13th Street at its intersection with Fourth Avenue North.

Billings Police Department Sgt. Clyde Reid didn't know the extent of her injuries. He said the girl "was conscious and talking to us." 

The crash occurred around 7:40 p.m. and as of 8:15 p.m. police were still searching for the wrong-way driver, who they suspected had run from the crash. 

"As far as we know he went north," Reid said.

Police would consider releasing the suspect's name later Thursday night should they need the public's help in locating him, Reid said.

He described the suspected driver as a white male in his late teens or early 20s and "reportedly wearing a red sweatshirt and shorts of some type." Based on air bag deployment and blood in the suspect vehicle, Reid said the man likely had a wound on his face. 

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Accident with injury

A man is checked by first responders after a multi-vehicle crash on North 13th Street and 4th Avenue North on Thursday, September 28.

The male passenger inside the suspect vehicle initially walked away from the crash but then returned to the scene, Reid said. Injuries to the male and female inside the suspect vehicle appeared to be mostly cuts and bruises, according to Reid. Some drug paraphernalia was found in the suspect car, Reid said. 

The crash left the suspect vehicle about 15 yards west of the girl's car. Both cars were in the north lane of Fourth Avenue North and facing east. Both cars had extensive frontal damage.

MHP Trooper Tyler DiGiovanna said he had attempted a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle near the Dick Johnston Bridge for driving with an expired license plate and running a red light. The vehicle did not stop and continued at a high rate of speed, DiGiovanna said. DiGiovanna said he stopped pursuing when the suspect turned the wrong way onto Fourth Avenue North. 

Traffic had been reduced to two lanes, and debris was scattered across Fourth Avenue while law enforcement and emergency responders worked. 

Billings Police Department, MHP, Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office and Billings Fire Department all responded to the wreck. 

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Night Reporter

General assignment reporter for The Billings Gazette.