Posted: Nov 3, 2012 6:02 PM by Dennis Bragg (Missoula)
(RAVALLI COUNTY) Four men were hurt, one seriously, when a pair of pickups smashed into each other on the Eastside Highway late Friday night.
The wreck happened around 10:30 at the intersection of the Eastside Highway and Hidden Valley Road just east of Florence, south of Missoula.
Montana Highway Patrol says the driver of an older model, full-sized Chevy pickup ran through the stop sign on Hidden Valley Road, running right into the side of another southbound truck that had just finished rounding the curve.
Trooper Scott Bennett says the driver of the first truck slammed on the brakes when he realized his mistake, but by then was only a few yards from the stop sign.
The Chevy slid onto the highway and center-punched the oncoming truck in the driver's side, carrying both pickups off the road and over the bank. Both of the mangled trucks ended up on their sides, with the front of the Chevy completely destroyed.
Bennett says there were two males in each truck and all were taken to the hospital for treatment. One had to be airlifted by Lifeflight helicopter back to the hospital in Missoula. There was no immediate word on their conditions, identities, ages, or the extent of their injuries.
The crash was still being investigated, but Bennett tells MTN it's suspected alcohol may have been a factor in the accident.
Traffic was stopped on the highway for several minutes until the injured could be taken away.
Fire units from the Florence and Three Mile Fire Departments, MHP and Ravalli County Sheriff's Department helped at the crash.