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Early Morning Accident Kills One Near Hamilton

fatal accident
Montana Highway Patrol investigates accident scene. (Photo courtesy of NBCMontana/KECI)
Officers report one death in a two vehicle accident that happened about 5:20 this morning at the intersection of the East Side Highway and Fairgrounds Road northwest of Hamilton.

According to Montana Highway Patrolman Pat Heaney, a southbound Toyota Tacoma, carrying two young men, was travelling at a high rate of speed when it crossed the centerline of the highway and hit a northbound Northwestern energy utility truck.

The passenger in the pickup was killed in the accident and the driver was taken to St Patrick Hospital in Missoula with critical injuries. Both men were between the ages of 19 and 21. The driver of the Northwestern truck, who was wearing a seatbelt, was treated and released.

Heaney said that alcohol and speed contributed to the crash. He said the road was wet, but not icy. Neither man in the Toyota was wearing a seatbelt. There were witnesses to the crash and they said the pickup was traveling over the posted speed limit.

Traffic delays continued through the morning as highway patrolmen continued investigation of the accident scene.

No names have been released as of noon Thursday. Families are being notified.

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