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MHP: Teen was semi driver in Hardin area double fatal crash

Posted at 12:14 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-26 19:50:11-04

Update 5:06 p.m. The two men killed in the crash have been identified as driver Thomas Tauscher, 58, and passenger Jerry Lively, 67, according to Big Horn County Coroner Terry Bullis.

Bullis also told Q2 it was the "most horrific crash" he had seen in years.
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The Montana Highway Patrol said Monday the driver who caused Sunday's double fatal crash in Big Horn County was a teenager.

The crash killed two men and injured one woman when a southbound semi-truck slid into the northbound lane on Highway 313 between Hardin and St. Xavier.

Patrol Sgt. Kyle Hayter said the driver of the semi-truck was a 17-year-old boy from Hardin.

The boy was uninjured and wasn't issued any citations at the scene of the crash.

Hayter said when the investigation is complete it will be submitted to the Big Horn County Attorney's Office to determine if any criminal charges should be filed.

The semi-truck driver was hauling an empty grain trailer.

Since the truck was being used for a farm operation, the driver does not fall under the state’s CDL requirements.

According to Montana Department of Justice, drivers must be at least 18 years old to obtain a CDL for intrastate travel 21 years old for interstate travel.

In Montana, you must be at least 21-years-old to drive a commercial vehicle.

Early in the investigation, it does not appear the semi-truck driver was impaired, Hayter said.

As of Monday morning, the victim’s names have not been released.