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Accident kills one, injures another on U.S. 93

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    Accident kills one, injures another on U.S. 93

    Accident kills one, injures another on U.S. 93

    Posted: Wednesday, Oct 03, 2007 - 11:10:05 pm MDT
    By NICHOLAS LEDDEN. The Daily Inter Lake

    Accident kills one, injures another on U.S. 93-news01-jpg
    Bret Childers, right, Flathead Valley sheriff’s deputy, and Flathead Coroner Dorothy Brouder talk on their cell phones while Olney Fire and Rescue firefighter James Hutchinson works the scene of a head-on collision Wednesday afternoon on U.S. 93 north of Olney. A yellow Corvette was northbound when it collided with a southbound pickup. The driver of the Corvette died at the scene, and the driver of the truck was in guarded condition Wednesday evening at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. The highway was closed to traffic for about two hours. Garrett Cheen/Daily Inter Lake

    Montana - One man was killed and another seriously injured Wednesday in an accident on U.S. 93 north of Olney.

    A 67-year-old Trigo man died almost instantly after his yellow Chevrolet Corvette smashed nearly head on into a Toyota pickup.

    The driver of the Toyota, in his late 60s, was airlifted to Kalispell Regional Medical Center. He was in guarded condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit late Wednesday.

    There were no other occupants in either car.

    The Corvette was southbound on U.S. 93 near the Potter’s Field Ranch at about 10:45 a.m. when it collided with the Toyota pickup traveling in the opposite direction, said Montana Highway Trooper Dustin LeRette, who is investigating the crash.

    The circumstances that led to the collision are still under investigation, LeRette said.

    It was raining and possibly sleeting in the area at the time the accident occurred.

    “The road surface was definitely wet, possibly icy,” LeRette said.

    It was also too early to tell whether alcohol or excessive speed were factors in the crash, LeRette said.

    Fred Weber was about 300 yards behind the Corvette when the collision occurred, he said. The Corvette had just passed him and the Toyota had just passed a camper traveling northbound. He watched spray fly off the road as the two cars slammed into each other near the centerline, he said.

    “The Toyota pickup launched off that Corvette like a fiberglass ramp,” he said.

    After hitting the Corvette, the Toyota went vertically airborne, cleared the highway’s guardrail, and landed nose first in the ditch, Weber said.

    “It hit so hard it creased the roof of the truck,” he said.

    Emergency personnel had to cut the Toyota’s driver out of his car with the jaws of life.

    The Corvette spun, possibly rolled, and stopped in the middle of the road, Weber said.

    Weber was one of the first people on the scene, and he said the Corvette’s driver was already dead when he reached the car.

    The accident shut down traffic for several hours.

    Seventeen traffic related deaths have been recorded in Flathead County this year.

    Reporter Nicholas Ledden can be reached at 758-4441 or by e-mail at nledden@dailyinterlake.com
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