MISSOULA – The Montana Highway Patrol confirms one person died in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 90 near East Broadway Wednesday afternoon.
Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Shawn Smalley confirmed with MTN News that a vehicle entered the roadway from an unknown exit heading in the wrong direction before colliding head-on with a chip truck at 1:18 p.m. near mile marker 106.
Smalley said that one person from the vehicle that was driving the wrong way died in the crash. The total number of occupants in that vehicle is not yet known.
The driver of the truck is being hospitalized, but we do not yet know his condition.
The collision ignited a fire in the roadway, but Smalley said the truck was not carrying hazardous materials.
MHP Trooper Jerry Ren also told MTN News that initially, the vehicle that entered the roadway in the wrong direction nearly hit an oncoming MHP cruiser that was attempting to come down the Orange Street exit off of I-90.
That trooper then turned into eastbound lanes and tried to catch the driver at the Van Buren exit. The driver did not yield and the trooper was almost hit again. Ren says the vehicle continued down the wrong way and side swiped a first semi-truck before colliding head on with a second semi.
Eastbound lanes on the interstate have re-opened, but the speed has been reduced to 35 mph. Eastbound lanes are still closed indefinitely..
Traffic is being detoured around the accident. Westbound traffic is being diverted at the East Missoula exit onto West Broadway. Eastbound traffic is being diverted at the Van Buren exit onto Broadway, then onto I-90.
Missoula County Public Schools is also saying that the crash may cause 15 to 30-minute delays on their afternoon bus routes.
Mountain Line is also reporting that some bus routes in the area are being delayed because of the crash.
— Information from Kent Luetzen – MTN News
#RiderAlert Due to a closure of I-90 between Van Buren and East Missoula, Routes 4, 5, and Paratransit service in the eastern part of the service area are being delayed.