Thursday evening began a weekend of horror crashes in Sanders County as a single-vehicle wreck occurred along Highway 200 just outside of Plains.
The single-occupant vehicle veered off the road just ahead of the Trophy Takers building, heading toward Plains from Trout Creek at approximately 8 p.m.
The 15-year-old Missoula County female driver ended up rolling down a ditch before her small SUV came to a stop in the grass next to a powerline pole.
Local Plains-Paradise Rural Fire and Plains Ambulance attended the scene to which saw the girl get transported to Clark Fork Valley Hospital for general medical attention.
Montana Highway Patrol also attended the scene, and later advised that there were no indicators of alcohol involved as the cause of the accident.
The attending trooper said that though it was determined the accident didn’t involve an impaired driver by way of drugs or alcohol, the definitive reasons as to why she went off road the cause was determined to be an unknown medical condition.
She was later released from Clark Fork Valley Hospital to her parents; no citations were given.
Double fatality on Montana 28
Then in the early hours of Saturday morning, July 7 at approximately 12:45 a.m. emergency services were called to a single-vehicle wreck at mile marker 9.6 along Montana 28.
It is suspected that the female driver was exceeding the nighttime speed limit of 65 mph as she began to come into the turn after mile marker 10.
Both the unidentified female and male occupants were 35 years old, and neither were wearing a seatbelt.
It is suspected that the driver — due to speed — lost control of her vehicle, veered to the left into a rock wall, crossing the double yellow lines before coming to rest on the right-hand side of the road in a smaller rock face.
The male passenger was ejected from the vehicle while the female driver was thought to have moved around the inside of the vehicle due to the nature and force of the crash.
Fire and EMTs along with MHP attended the scene; both occupants were pronounced deceased at the wreck site.
It is said by the attending trooper that a passerby had alerted authorities to the crash.
It is undetermined at press time whether drugs and/or alcohol are contributing factors to the crash as the coroner has not released any official tox-screen findings.
The vehicle was traveling south toward Plains. Both the driver and her passenger are said to be residents of Hot Springs as told by authorities.
Then Sunday saw another major single-vehicle wreck, this time at approximately mile marker 30 near Trout Creek.
A married couple in their early 60s from Missoula were traveling along the road when their small pic-up veered off the road into a side ditch.
It is suspected that when the male driver attempted to pull the truck back onto the roadway and overcorrected, which resulted in the vehicle rolling.
The female passenger was ejected from the vehicle, suffering severe head and body injuries. She was life-flighted to Missoula, with life-threatening injuries.
The male driver also sustained injuries from the wreck, but his injuries were not as severe as those of his wife. He was transported to Clark Fork Valley Hospital for further medical attention.
It was determined by the MHP trooper on scene that there were no drugs or alcohol involved in the crash. The driver of the pickup was cited for careless driving and failure to wear a seatbelt.
The trooper said there were unknown factors to which caused the accident at this time.
With a serious spike in vehicle crashes in Sanders County over the last two months, emergency response personnel are urging drivers to take care when traveling. Speed and failure to wear a seatbelt are two of the top concerns MHP troopers are urging people to take note of to make sure they get to their destination safely and alive.