Fatal Accident on Highway 12
Two people are dead after a head-on collision on Highway 12 East Tuesday night.
Around 10:30 last night, a driver slammed head on into another car while driving on the wrong side of highway 12. Montana Highway Patrol Trooper, Dave Gleich, says the drivers of the two cars had no time to react.
"If they had hit the brakes there wasn’t time for the brakes to actually engage."
There were two people in each vehicle, none of them were wearing seat belts. Gleich says when he arrived on scene, he rushed to aid 16 year old Justine Smith, but it was too late to save her life.
"The passenger that ended up dying on scene. I had to determine that she wasn’t breathing and I couldn’t find her pulse, so I checked her eyes. You know all indications she had been killed on impact.”
The other passenger in that car, Justine's grandmother Mildred Richard, later died in the hospital from injuries sustained in the crash. Gleich says he suspects the person driving the car on the wrong side of the road may have been drinking. He says this is something he sees too often.
"If we stop drinking and driving, started wearing seat belts, our fatalities would probably be cut, less than a third of what we have. And I just wish Montanans would learn that the easy way instead of having us to deal with this instead."
Gleich says both driver and passenger of the car that was in the wrong lane suffered injuries, the airbags probably saved their lives.
Story by Kelley Smith, Beartooth NBC.
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