Feb 12, 2013 10:20 PM by Paul Humphrey - MTN News
BILLINGS - A 43-year-old Billings woman suffered life-threatening injuries when her vehicle caught fire after slamming into the back of a tractor trailer rig in the westbound exit lane of the I-90 South 27th Street on-ramp.
The crash happened just before 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, closing the westbound on ramp and slowing westbound interstate traffic to one lane during rush hour.
According to Billings Police Sgt. Matt Brewer, the Chevrolet minivan was exiting the interstate at what witnesses say was a high rate of speed when it plowed into the back of the semi trailer that was slowing to a stop at the top of the on-ramp.
The tractor trailer is owned by Yellowstone County, and was driven by a 52-year-old county employee from Fromberg.
An off-duty Yellowstone County Sheriff's deputy witnessed the crash and was able to extinguish the flames before other emergency crews arrived. The victim was unresponsive at the scene and was rushed by ambulance to St. Vincent Healthcare.
There were no other passengers in the minivan.
The Billings Police Department is investigating the accident. Sgt. Brewer said that speed was a factor in the crash but it is unknown if alcohol was involved.