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Alcohol may have been involved in fatal NW Montana crash


A person driving a pickup or an SUV on a Montana highway is piloting two tons of steel at speeds that often hit 70 mph or more. It's a serious responsibility, and one most drivers take for granted. But throw alcohol into the mix and the potential for serious injury or death becomes very real. Authorities believe drinking may have been a factor in a recent head-on-collision near Kalispell that killed two people.

The accident happened on Highway 93 in Flathead County. According to the Montana Highway Patrol, a Jeep Cherokee that was traveling northbound crossed the centerline of the highway and crashed head-on into a southbound pickup truck. The driver of the pickup truck, a 43-year-old Kalispell man, and a 43-year-old passenger in the Jeep lost their lives. The driver of the Jeep, a 46-year-old Kalispell man, was arrested by the sheriff's department. News reports do not indicate whether he was injured in the crash.

When a person dies in a car accident caused by an alleged drunk driver, the victim's family has the right to bring a wrongful death action against that driver-or the driver's estate if the allegedly negligent driver did not survive the crash. The insurance company for the alleged drunk driver will be obligated to pay any damages up to the liability limits of the policy.

To lose a loved one in a drunk driving accident is a devastating blow to any family. No amount of monetary compensation can right the wrong the family has suffered. But the death of a family member has financial consequences, especially if the the family depended on the victim for support. A wrongful death lawsuit can prevent a tragic death from causing financial hardship to family members who are left behind.

Source: ABC Fox Montana, "Authorities Suspect Alcohol Is To Blame For Fatal Crash," Parker Collins, Oct. 18, 2013

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