A man illegally driving a commercial sugar beet truck Thursday side-swiped a car sending one of its occupants to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Winburn said Manuel Borjas, 31, of Chihuahua, Mexico, was arrested and charged with negligent endangerment, careless driving and driving without a valid license and is being held in the Big Horn County jail.
At about 12:40 p.m., a 15-year-old Hardin girl, driving a passenger car, turned south onto Highway 47 from Sugar Factory Road, less than a half-mile south of Interstate 90, when the truck traveling north on Highway 47 crossed into the southbound lane and collided with the car.
"The truck ripped off the side of the car, opening it like a sardine can," Winburn said. "
Winburn said Borjas was in the United States on a valid visa, however was not authorized with a working visa. Borjas was transporting sugar beets for Rudy Travino, of Hardin, Winburn said.
The girl was transported by ambulance to Big Horn County Memorial Hospital in Hardin. From there, Winburn said she was then transported to St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings.
A juvenile male passenger, who was uninjured, was also in the car.
Traffic was slowed for nearly two hours while MHP and Big Horn County officers investigated the accident and cleared sugar beets and vehicle debris left from the collision.
Details about the accident were not immediately available and the crash remains under investigation. Winburn was not certain about the make and model of the vehicles involved or the passenger's age and residence.