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The investigation into a snowplow accident in Roundup last weekend could take a month or longer, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper said today.

Meanwhile, the state employee who was driving the snowplow when it crashed into a parked car and a building has been placed on paid leave until the investigation is complete, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transporta-tion said.

The driver, Eugene Hansen, 53, of Roundup, was driving a state snowplow shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday when the plow hit a parked car and crashed into an unoccupied building on First Avenue West. The car sustained damages esti-mated at $5,000 to $6,000. Portions of a stairwell on the building were damaged.

No injuries were reported. Trooper Mark Shoup said the investigation aims to determine whether Hansen suffered a medical problem that caused the accident or whether he was driving under the influence of alcohol. Musselshell County sheriff's deputies who arrived first at the scene reported possible alcohol use by the driver, Shoup said.

No citations have been issued, and Shoup said he is waiting for results of toxicology reports that could take four weeks or longer to process.

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