Thursday, June 01, 2023

Accident claims life of 21-year-old Troy man

by Canda Harbaugh & Western News
| April 17, 2009 12:00 AM

A Troy man died Tuesday from head injuries he received after driving through a school concessions building and hitting a construction trailer Monday afternoon.

Ricky J. Stindt Jr., 21, was transported to Libby and airlifted to Kalispell Regional Medical Center, where he later died from blunt trauma to the left side of his head, according to police and medical personnel.  

Stindt’s 13-year-old brother, who was in the car with him, suffered a minor injury to his shoulder, which police believe was caused by his seatbelt. He was treated at St. John’s Lutheran Hospital in Libby and released.

Stindt was a 2006 graduate of Troy High School.

Mitch Walters, Troy chief of police, said the accident occurred when Stindt somehow became incapacitated as he and his brother sat in their mother’s 1998 Chevy Blazer near Troy’s football and baseball fields.

“The story is that (Stindt) had a seizure or a black-out,” Walters said. “He stomped on the gas, took out the fence, went flying across the ballfield and (drove through) the concession stand.”

Walters is still investigating the circumstances surrounding why Stindt blacked out.

Tire tracks revealed the deadly path of the vehicle. Running parallel to the school’s track, the SUV went through a fence, onto the baseball diamond and over second base, completely through the concession stand, then through another fence and into the construction trailer. A refrigerated beverage cooler from the concession stand rested next to the trailer, about 55 feet from where it originally stood.

A wooden post from the concession stand building went through the windshield, causing Stindt’s head injury, Walters said.

A witness reported the accident at 4:38 in the afternoon Monday. Troy Volunteer Ambulance arrived six minutes later and transported the brothers to St. John’s Lutheran Hospital.

With the accident occurring during after-school hours, children could have been in the vehicle’s path. Luckily, practice for a softball team of 9- to 12-year-olds was cancelled due to poor weather.

“I heard that a coach had cancelled practice,” Walters said. “The ballfield could have been filled with little kids.”

An insurance adjustor has examined the immense damage to the concession stand and a contractor is working on an estimate to rebuild it, Troy superintendent of schools Brady Selle said.