When a vehicle crosses the centerline of a highway into the opposite lane of traffic at a high rate of speed, the drivers of vehicles in the opposite lane have very little time to react. All too often the result is a high-speed head-on collision resulting in death or serious injury. Perhaps due to the long distances traveled and the potential for driver fatigue, these types of accidents are not uncommon in Montana. Recently one such crash killed a 66-year-old Bozeman man and left another man seriously injured.
According to the Montana Highway Patrol, the deadly auto accident happened at about 4:20 p.m. on U.S. Highway 287 near Ennis. The Bozeman man was driving a 1996 Mazda Protégé northbound when a 1997 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by a 79-year-old Ennis man crossed the centerline. The two vehicles collided and both spun; the pickup ended up in a field and the Mazda on a nearby side road.
The Bozeman man was killed. The Ennis man was seriously injured and was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Bozeman. The accident investigation is ongoing; at the time this post was prepared authorities had not indicated whether intoxication or speeding were factors.
When a loved one is killed in a car accident caused by negligence, the surviving family members can be left in shock. Even after the immediate grief subsides, the family will often feel the loss of the deceased for many years. If the deceased person was a provider, his or her dependents may face severe financial uncertainty.
Fortunately, Montana law allows surviving family members to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver. The family can recover monetary damages for loss of financial support, as well as loss of companionship. A wrongful death recovery can never replace a lost loved one, but it can help ease a family’s pain by removing the fear of financial hardship.
Source: The Montana Standard, “Man dies in head-on two-car crash,” Angela Brandt, Dec. 1, 2013