By Amanda Eggert EBS Associate Editor
BIG SKY – An individual was flown by air ambulance to Bozeman, and then Billings, after being struck by a vehicle in Big Sky on July 29.
The motorist involved was traveling westbound at approximately 9:45 p.m. as the pedestrian was crossing MT 64—also known as Lone Mountain Trail—near the intersection of Ousel Falls Road when the accident occurred.
Ashlin O’Connell, the Montana Highway Patrol trooper investigating the accident, said the injured pedestrian was transported to the Big Sky Medical Center, where he was flown by air ambulance to Bozeman Deaconess. He was then flown to a hospital in Billings.
On July 30, O’Connell said speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors. She added that the investigation was ongoing and would take several days to complete.
O’Connell said it is unknown which direction the pedestrian was walking and whether or not he was using the crosswalk. O’Connell said she heard the pedestrian was in stable condition as of July 30.
The intersection of MT 64 and Ousel Falls Road is slated for a traffic light installation this fall. This June, Big Sky Community Organization secured $175,000 in Big Sky Resort Area District funds to match a private donation and move the light installation forward.
“It was a very, very unfortunate incident,” said Ciara Wolfe, executive director of BSCO.
“Our community recognized the danger of that intersection and has put together the pieces that hopefully increase safety,” she added.
Although the Montana Department of Transportation approved the light installation, it is being funded with community—rather than state or county—dollars.
The widening of the intersection and addition of turn lanes was completed with approximately $750,000 in rural improvement district funds. If all goes as planned, electrical infrastructure, poles, signals and cross walks will be installed this fall to the tune of $350,000.
Half that amount was supplied by donations from Lone Mountain Land Company, the Yellowstone Club and Town Center and the other half was awarded by the BSRAD board.