May 1, 2013 10:46 AM by Melissa Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HELENA - Lewis & Clark County Coroner Mickey Nelson has confirmed that two people died as a result of the head-on collision near East Helena on Highway 12 on Tuesday night.
Nelson said a 16-year old passenger of the Ford Probe died at the scene.
Her 51 year old grandmother, who was driving, passed away as a result of injuries at the hospital shortly after 3:00 am.
The crash happened at around 10:30 in the evening when the car they were in was struck head-on by an oncoming vehicle which was traveling westbound in the eastbound lane.
The driver and passenger of that vehicle are still in the hospital. The driver was last reported in serious condition, while the passenger remains in critical condition.
A witness to the accident who was traveling eastbound said he had to swerve out of the way to avoid being hit head-on. That was when the Ford Probe, which was driving behind him, was struck head on.
The Montana Highway Patrol, which is investigating the accident, reported that alcohol was determined to be a factor in the crash, and that more than likely criminal prosecution will be filed against the driver of the oncoming vehicle.
None of the people involved in the accident were wearing seat belts.
Authorities have not yet released the names of the victims.
(UPDATE, 11:45 am) The two people killed in the crash have been identified as Mildred Richard, 51 years old, of Helena; and Justine Smith, 16 years old.