Two people died Sunday on western Montana's highways.
A 62-year-old pedestrian from Polson was struck and killed by a vehicle as she apparently stood in the road on U.S. Highway 2 just after 9 p.m. on Sunday.
According to the Montana Highway Patrol, the crash occurred at mile marker 205.9, west of East Glacier. The woman was struck by a Chevrolet Suburban driven by a 37-year-old male from Browning. The driver and a 35-year-old female passenger were uninjured, and both were wearing seat belts. Alcohol, drugs and speed are not considered factors in the crash.
The driver told investigators that he was going between 65 and 70 miles per hour when he saw someone in dark clothing standing in the roadway facing the vehicle. The driver said he was unable to avoid a collision due to the short distance. The pedestrian was pronounced dead on the scene.
The victim's name has not been released pending notification of family members, and the crash is still under investigation. It was the 145th highway fatality of the year investigated by MHP.
In Ravalli County, a 43-year-old Noxon man died Sunday afternoon after he drove his pickup truck off the side of Highway 93 below the Lost Trail Ski Area.
The truck was heading southbound on dry pavement when the accident occurred at Mile Marker 2.
“For unknown reasons, he lost control and went down the embankment, down the mountainside,” Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott Bennett said on Monday. “He wasn’t wearing a seat belt, was ejected, and the vehicle landed on him.”
The name of the man hasn’t been released, pending notification of his family members. He was the sole occupant of the vehicle.
Bennett said it's estimated that the accident happened about 3 p.m., but the vehicle wasn’t discovered until 5:30 p.m.
“It was hard to see from the roadway,” Bennett said.
Speed didn’t appear to be a factor, but Bennett said authorities are looking into whether alcohol was involved, as beer cans were scattered around the accident site.