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Two Libby residents killed, one critical in crash

| November 15, 2007 11:00 PM

Two Libby area young adults, one male, 22, and one female, 21, were killed in an early morning vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 2 near milepost 61, just west of Manicke Church. The approximate time of the crash was 3:20 a.m.

One male passenger, 28, remains in critical condition at Kalispell Regional Hospital. Names are being withheld until notification of next of kin and further investigation is completed.

The vehicle, a 2007 Dodge pick-up truck, was traveling westbound on U.S. Highway 2 toward Libby at a speed too fast for the existing ice coated road conditions. The driver lost control of the vehicle as it entered the right hand corner just west of Maincke Church.

The vehicle rotated 180 degrees counter-clockwise, crossed the opposite traffic lane and slid up the steep embankment on the south side of the highway. The vehicle then rolled several times into the woods where it struck several trees before coming to rest.

All three occupants were not wearing seatbelts and as a result, were fully ejected from the vehicle. One male and one female were pronounced dead at the scene and one male was transported to Kalispell Regional Hospital where he remains in critical condition.

As of press time, it was unclear who was driving the vehicle, as all three individuals were ejected from the vehicle, according to Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Duane Bowers. The accident is still under investigation.

Speed, possible alcohol use and no seatbelts were all contributing factors in this crash.

This is the second driving under the influence related crash in two months that has injured a total of 11 local area young adults and killed two.

Bowers strongly urges all parents that have children who are driving to talk to them about the danger and consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and about not using seatbelts.

Everyday, the fatal count in Montana continues to rise with the main contributing factor being lack of seatbelt use.

As of press time, 245 people have been killed in motor vehicle accidents on Montana roads, as compared to 235 this time last year, according to Sgt. Duane Bowers. Of the 245 killed, 198 were not wearing seatbelts and 88 deaths were alcohol related.