By Tyler Allen EBS Senior Editor
BIG SKY – At approximately 1:30 p.m. today, a motor vehicle accident occurred on a sweeping curve at mile marker 1 on Lone Mountain Trail in Big Sky, resulting in one fatality.
A late model Jeep Cherokee traveling in the westbound lane struck a dump truck towing a trailer head-on in the eastbound lane. Both vehicles ended up in the westbound ditch and the driver of the Jeep was pronounced dead at the scene. The name of the deceased has not been released pending notification of the family.
The driver of the dump truck – which was severely damaged – did not sustain “incapacitating injuries,” according to Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Patrick McLaughlin, but was transported by MHP to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.
Montana state law requires that drivers involved in accidents resulting in severe injury or death must be given an isolated interview by the authorities and a blood draw to determine if there were any intoxicating substances involved.
The accident is currently being investigated by MHP and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s and Coroner’s offices. Motor Carrier Services is inspecting the dump truck to ensure it was mechanically functioning properly.
Lone Mountain Trail was reduced to one lane of traffic, and Sgt. McLaughlin expected the westbound lane to reopen between 5-6 p.m., after the vehicles were removed from the ditch, hydraulic fluid from the dump truck was cleaned off the road, and MHP finished diagramming the accident.
This collision occurred on the same bend in the road where a propane truck overturned on Jan. 27 after the driver attempted to avoid hitting a bighorn sheep.