The advent of winter is beginning to affect driving on Montana’s curving highways. Two vehicles collided just east of Helmville on Highway 200. According to the report of the Montana Highway Patrol, the two vehicles collided when one was attempting a left turn. The media reports are a bit sketchy, but the basic facts of the accident can be deduced from information released by safety authorities.
One of the two vehicles was a Subaru Outback that was headed east on Highway 200. The driver of the Subaru attempted to make a left hand turn, but ice on the highway prevented the vehicle from completing its turn. Instead, the vehicle remained in the west bound lane, where it was struck by a Toyota RAV4 traveling west.
A female passenger in the RAV4 was killed in the collision. The driver of the RAV4, a 34-year-old man from Missoula, and the driver of the Outback were transferred to St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula for treatment of their injuries.
Liability for road conditions
Even in Montana’s notorious weather, the state’s drivers are responsible for allowing for the wintry conditions and for taking extra safety precautions. In this case, the eastbound driver who was attempting the left turn may be liable for not spotting the slippery roadway.
On the other hand, the westbound vehicle may have been traveling too fast for the slippery road conditions, thereby impairing its ability to slow or stop for the turning vehicle. A complete assessment of liability will most likely need the completion of the accident