NewsMissoula County


New details in a deadly crash near Missoula caused by a wrong way driver

Posted at 9:34 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-21 09:16:34-04

MISSOULA – Traffic is still shut down in westbound lanes nearly 9 hours after a fatal crash along Interstate 90 near East Missoula.

One person is dead and another was critically injured after the Wednesday afternoon crash.

The incident started when a vehicle entered I-90 going the wrong way and collided head-on with a semi-truck.

The driver who initiated the fatal crash along I-90 entered the roadway the wrong way at the Orange Street exit in Missoula, according to Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Jerry Ren.

Fatal I90 crash
(MTN News photo)

Trooper Ren added a Montana Highway Patrol trooper was actually exiting at the same time and was nearly hit by the wrong way driver.  The trooper then turned into the eastbound lanes and tried to catch the driver at the Van Buren exit.

The driver did not yield and the MHP trooper was almost hit again. Trooper Ren says the vehicle continued down the wrong way and sideswiped a semi-truck before colliding head-on with a second semi. ​

The collision ignited a fire in the roadway with MHP Sergeant Shawn Smalley telling MTN News that the second truck was not carrying hazardous materials.

Smalley said that one person from the other vehicle died in the crash while the driver of the truck was taken to the hospital.

The incident is currently under investigation by the Montana Highway Patrol.