Search Continues For Truck Driver Who Fled Scene of Fatal Crashby Jana Ritter - Published: 4/17/2017
Authorities are seeking your help in locating the driver of a tractor-trailer who left the scene of a fatal accident on Interstate 15 in Montana.
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According to the Montana Highway Patrol, the crash was reported at 10:17 p.m. on Saturday evening and occurred near mile marker 275 along I-15, just south of the Great Falls airport. A Dodge Caravan was traveling northbound on I-15 when a semi-truck traveling southbound wanted to access a weigh station on the northbound side of the road. To get to the station, the truck driver turned into the northbound lane and pulled right in front of the Caravan in order to enter into the “authorized only” section in the median. The Caravan driver made a quick attempt to avoid hitting the semi by moving into the passing lane but it wasn’t enough. The Caravan crashed head on into the right rear side of the trailer, instantly killing the driver. The victim is a Canadian man identified as 72-year-old Marvin Knutson from Swift Current, Saskatchewan.
MHP say that after the crash, the semi driver continued across to the entry lane of the weigh station and then stopped for a moment. He then drove away from the scene, heading northbound on I-15. Officials say it’s possible the truck driver may not have been aware that his trailer had been struck but it's unlikely because of the severity of the impact. “I don’t know how you can’t feel a hit like that,” said Trooper Fla Seau. “Because from the front bumper (of the van), it was pushed all the way to the windshield.”
Both lanes on I-15 were closed as investigators surveyed the scene and emergency crews worked to clear the road. Officers immediately began searching for the truck driver involved in the crash. “We are still looking for the driver and the semi itself,” Seau said. “The truck was hauling two-by-four lumber and should have damage on the right rear side of the trailer.”
Anyone with any information about the driver or the location of the tractor-trailer can call Montana Highway Patrol at (406) 444-3780.