King Avenue crash

The remains of a car can be seen after it crashed into an abutment and burned on King Avenue near the intersection with Eggebrecht Lane in Billings on Thursday.

Authorities have identified the driver of a car who crashed into a ditch and then a train bridge abutment on Billings' far West End in early August.

Yellowstone County coroner Cliff Mahoney identified the man as Cleve Riggins, 54, of Billings. Riggins died on Aug. 8, but identification took almost a month. Riggins was badly burned after his car was engulfed in flames, and coroners had to send a DNA sample for identification. Those results arrived Thursday, Mahoney said. 

Riggins died Aug. 8 around 4:15 p.m. after his SUV, travelling west on King Avenue West, crashed into a ditch and then a train abutment between 80th Street West and 72nd Street West near Folsom Road. The crash caused the car to ignite.

Flames from the car fire were high enough to reach the railroad bridge and engulfed portions of the railway.

Speed was a factor in the crash, according to MHP. Montana Highway Patrol Capt. Keith Edgell said the SUV was traveling 60 mph, and the high-speed crash caused the internal compartments of the front car to break into the cab. 

MHP, Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office, Laurel Volunteer Fire Department, Laurel Ambulance Services, and BNSF Police responded to the crash.

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