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Snowstorm challenges drivers: Montana towing company answers the call

Posted at 1:45 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 15:45:48-04

BELGRADE - It happened in an instant — Olivia and her passenger flipped in their vehicle on their way back from camping Monday night, when they were caught in the winter storm while traveling on Interstate 90.

“It was one of those things, where you’re driving up the hill, the wind got us and we were fishtailing,” Olivia said, “The trailer whipped us around, like 180, then we hit the side and flipped.”

This happened Monday at around 7:30 pm, on Bozeman Pass near Livingston as Olivia was returning from a camping trip, hoping to beat the storm, when she wrecked.

“We looked at each other upside down and made sure each other were OK, and then we busted through the windows to crawl out,” Olivia said.

First responders arrived to assist the pair, along with Mountain West Towing, a Belgrade-based towing company.

“Very windy last night, the wind actually caught their trailer and pulled them around, put them in a spin, they went off the road and they went upside down,” said Mountain West Towing owner Mike McGady.

McGady recalled the moment he heard that a storm advisory was heading for Southwest Montana.

“It takes us from our regular 8-5 hour day, into a 24-hour day,” McGady said, “This morning we woke up to a half dozen cars that just ran off the road, driving too fast, missed turns.”

McGady went on to note that the drivers for Mountain West Towing risk their lives to go out and help people on the roads, and have had equipment hit by drivers passing by too close.

“Slow down and pay attention, my drivers are out there, and one bad decision can kill them,” McGady said.

In Montana law, Title 61 Chapter 8 Part 3, ‘Vehicle Operating Requirements, outlines how cars should respond when seeing emergency vehicles, law enforcement, and towing vehicles. It states that “on approaching and passing a stationary authorized emergency vehicle…tow truck…cautiously reduce the vehicle’s speed to a reasonably lower and safe speed…proceed with caution…”

McGady added that the team is working around the clock over the next day, in anticipation of calls.