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Highway 2 accident claims life of Idaho man

by Western News
| September 8, 2009 12:00 AM

A 50-year-old Bonners Ferry, Idaho man died and two others were injured Wednesday afternoon in a collision on Highway 2, west of Troy, that caused both vehicles to roll, according to a Montana Highway Patrol release.

Timothy A. Fury died in his vehicle, while Roger Strandley and Jon Kerby, also of Bonners Ferry, were treated at St. John’s Lutheran Hospital and released that same evening.

“He (Fury) turned directly in front of (Strandley and Kerby’s) pickup, and the pickup struck it broadside at highway speed,” MHP Sgt. Duane Bowers said. “That high of impact caused them to roll over.”

Fury was driving eastbound in a 1990 Oldsmobile Cutlass approaching the Yaak River Bridge at about 3:55 p.m. when he crossed over the double yellow line in an apparent attempt to turn left onto a public river access, according to Bowers.

“I don’t know if he thought he had enough time to get across or if he was distracted,” Bowers said. “We won’t ever know why he turned in front of the pickup truck.”

Strandley, who was driving westbound with Kerby in a 2002 Ford pickup owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe, swerved onto the right paved shoulder and braked to avoid a collision. The pickup crashed into the passenger side of the car, Bowers said, causing both vehicles to roll into the ditch and rest upside down.

One lane of the highway was blocked for about an hour and a half, Bowers said, as emergency responders tended to the victims and law enforcement processed the scene.

The victims were wearing seatbelts and speed was not a factor in the crash, according to the highway patrol fatality report. Alcohol use will not be completely ruled out until results of a blood test come through, which takes up to three months. 

“Alcohol doesn’t appear to be a contributing circumstance,” Bowers said, “but we won’t know that for sure until we get the blood results back.”