Phillips County Sheriff’s Office identified the man who died in a crash while driving a semi carrying a trailer full of hay near Malta on Thursday.
Justin Lucas, 37, of Loring, Montana, was killed after crashing the semi on Highway 191 North about one mile south of the small town, which is about 15 miles south of the Montana-Canada border, according to a press release sent out by Phillips County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday. The semi fell on its side and started on fire in the crash. It’s unclear what killed Lucas.
At around 3:40 p.m. on Thursday, the Phillips County Sheriff’s Office received a call from someone nearby who said that their husband was trying to help the driver out of the vehicle as it was on fire.
According to the release, when deputies and the Loring Fire Department arrived on scene, the semi was fully engulfed in flames. After the flames were controlled, a deputy verified that Lucas was unable to exit the vehicle and was dead.
Lucas’ body was removed and sent to the Montana Crime Lab for an autopsy. While it’s believed that the semi took a turn too sharply and overturned, the cause of the crash is still under investigation by the Montana Highway Patrol.
MHP, the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the Phillips County Sheriff’s Office and Loring Fire Department responded to the crash.