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Montana Highway Patrol investigating multiple fatal crashes since Saturday
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Montana Highway Patrol investigating multiple fatal crashes since Saturday

The Montana Highway Patrol has opened investigations into at least five fatal crashes in five different counties since Saturday. 

The five separate crashes in Lincoln, Gallatin, Powell, Roosevelt and Cascade counties happened over a period of roughly 15 hours and resulted in the deaths of a 68-year-old man from Troy, a 54-year-old man from Bozeman, a 59-year-old man from Ovando, a 58-year-old woman from Poplar and a 49-year-old man from Geraldine. 

The fatal crash in Lincoln County happened at about 12:22 p.m. Saturday on Montana Highway 37 with the nearest town being Rexford. According to preliminary crash information shared by MHP a 68-year-old man from Troy died after he lost control while trying to negotiate a curve in the road while riding a motorcycle. The motorcycle exited the roadway to the right and went into a ditch before rolling. The man who died had not been wearing a helmet, according to MHP.

The crash happened near mile marker 62. MHP does not list alcohol, drugs or speed as suspected factors, but the crash remains under investigation. 

At 5:20 p.m. on Saturday, an SUV crashed in Gallatin County near mile marker 4 on 16 Mile Creek Road. The nearest town to the location of the crash is Belgrade. The 54-year-old Bozeman man killed in the crash was the driver. He was partially ejected from the SUV and was not wearing a seat belt. 

A 20-year-old man from Billings who was also in the SUV was injured. He had been wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and was taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital to be checked out before being released, according to MHP.

An MHP crash narrative describes how the SUV was westbound on 16 Mile Creek Road "going too fast for conditions as this is a dirt road." 

The vehicle went off the left side of the road, overcorrected and then went off the right side before rolling. Alcohol and speed are listed as suspected factors in the crash. 

At 6:14 p.m. Saturday a 59-year-old man from Ovando died after the motorcycle he was riding on Montana Highway 200 in Powell County near Lincoln drifted off the right side of the road into a ditch near mile marker 65.

The motorcycle went up the opposite side of the ditch and skidded before crashing through brush and rolling. MHP reports that the man was taken to St. Patrick's Hospital in Missoula and died in transit. 

The man was not wearing a helmet. The crash report does not list alcohol, drugs or speed as suspected factors in the crash.

The next fatal crash was reported at 9:32 p.m. in Roosevelt County. In that crash a 28-year-old woman was driving a passenger car on BIA Route 150 near Poplar. MHP lists her city or state of residence as unknown. A 58-year-old woman from Poplar was riding in the same vehicle as a passenger. Neither woman was wearing a seat belt, and the 58-year-old woman from Poplar was fatally injured in the crash.

The car they were traveling in went through a stop sign and then traveled through the intersection before going off the road and crashing into a ditch embankment. An MHP crash narrative states that the passenger car continued 106 feet from the site of its impact with the ditch before coming to a rest on its wheels in a field. The trooper investigating the crash lists alcohol and speed as suspected factors in the crash.

Early Sunday morning at 2:45 a.m. another fatal crash was reported, this time in Cascade County near Great Falls. In that crash a 49-year-old man from Geraldine was driving a pickup truck northbound on U.S. Highway 87 near mile marker 9 before the pickup drifted off the roadway over the southbound lane and went into the ditch as it rotated counterclockwise. According to an MHP crash narrative the pickup then rolled several times and the driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected. The vehicle eventually came to a stop on its passenger side facing southwest.

About 90 feet from the vehicle the driver was found and pronounced dead at the scene by a coroner. The crash narrative states that it is unknown if alcohol was a factor but that "speed was a factor and seat belt was not used."

The Cascade County fatal crash brings the total number of fatal crashes the Montana Highway Patrol has investigated this year to 123. 

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