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Crash

A woman driving a Honda Accord was killed in a wrong-way crash in the Shiloh Road roundabout at Grand Avenue on Monday morning. A SUV entered the roundabout going the wrong direction and collided head-on with the car.

Charges will not be filed in two Billings-area traffic-related fatalities, a prosecutor who reviewed the cases said Tuesday.

Deputy County Attorney David Carter said he has concluded his review of the deaths of a Lockwood teenager and a Billings woman who were killed in separate incidents.

The most recent case involved the Jan. 3 death of Dustin Freese, who was hit by a pickup truck as he and a friend were walking along Becraft Lane in Lockwood.

The 16-year-old boy suffered major head injuries and later died at St. Vincent Healthcare.

Carter said an investigation by the Montana Highway Patrol showed that the boy's death was a tragic accident involving what he described as a "perfect storm" of circumstances lasting no more than 10 seconds.

Freese and a friend were walking along the right shoulder of the two-lane road on a snowy evening when Freese was struck by a truck driven by 71-year-old Wallace Bradberry, also of Lockwood.

Bradberry immediately stopped and tried to help the boy, Carter said. Later, Bradberry cooperated fully with investigators, who determined that he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Carter said the road conditions, including snow and a lack of street lighting and sidewalks, played a part in the boy's death. Freese was also wearing dark clothing, Carter said, and may have taken a step in front of the pickup to avoid a ditch.

"Unfortunately, this section of roadway did not have well-designated lanes or significant artificial lighting, and this was a brief moment in time where Dustin Freese was not clearly visible to the average motorist," Carter said.

The other case involved the June 4, 2012, death of 53-year-old Diane Jensen.

Jensen was driving a Honda Accord on Shiloh Road and was turning right at a roundabout at Grand Avenue when her car was hit by a Lexus sport-utility vehicle.

Jensen died at the scene. The driver of the Lexus, 69-year-old Arthur Geiger, was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare.

Carter said investigators determined that Geiger had lost consciousness just before the crash as the result of a pre-existing heart condition. Geiger lost control of the Lexus, which entered the roundabout and struck Jensen's car.

Carter said Geiger had a long history of medical treatments for the condition, and a physician had previously approved him to drive.

Investigators determined Geiger was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.

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State courts reporter for the Billings Gazette.