MISSOULA - A semi-truck drove off I-90 into the parking lot of Missoula's Cracker Barrel Thursday afternoon.
Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) Trooper Robert Strauch says a semi-truck driver was "choking on water" when he careened across I-90 crashing into several cars before rolling into a parking lot.
The MHP reports the semi-truck was traveling east on I-90 near Reserve Street when the driver drove off the left side of the road, crossed the median, and went westbound on I-90.
The semi-truck struck a Ford SUV that was traveling west on I-90, then drove through a fence and crashed into two storage containers and two parked vehicles between Cracker Barrel and My Place hotel.
One man on the scene said he was sitting in his car in the lot when it happened and sprung into action. A trucker himself, witness John Wilke said he climbed into the big rig and saved the driver.
"He said he pretty much was having a coughing fit and his eyes got really watery. He was going eastbound and had a coughing fit," Wilke explained. "Next thing he knows he is going off between the two highways. It takes three football fields to stop fully loaded on one of those trucks and there's no way in hell he was going to stop."
The semi-trucker was issued a citation for careless driving.
2:10 p.m. - May 5, 2022
MISSOULA - A witness who pulled the semi-truck driver out of the truck told our reporter James Dobson, that the driver was traveling eastbound on I-90 near the Reserve Street exit when the driver started coughing.
The driver said he lost control and the semi went across the westbound lanes, and then crashed through several storage containers and a few vehicles between the My Place Hotel and the Cracker Barrel restaurant.
Witness John Wilke -- who is also a semi-truck driver -- describes what he saw as a semi-truck careened off I-90 and crashed into several vehicles in a Missoula Parking lot in the below video.
Numerous agencies responded to the crash including the Missoula Fire Department which stated in a social media post that no fatalities are being reported at this time. MFD also notes all lanes of I-90 are open to traffic.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
2 p.m. - May 5, 2022
An accident was reported just before 1:30 p.m. Thursday involving a semi-truck and passenger car on Interstate 90 near the Reserve Street exit.
Both vehicles landed in the Cracker Barrel parking lot along I-90.
There is no word on injuries at this time.
We will have additional information as it becomes available.
- information from James Dobson and Melissa Rafferty