(UPDATE, March 20, 9:34 p.m.)
MISSOULA– Traffic is still shut down in westbound lanes nearly 9 hours after a fatal crash along Interstate 90 near East Missoula.
One person is dead and another was critically injured after the Wednesday afternoon crash.
The incident started when a vehicle entered I-90 going the wrong way and collided head-on with a semi-truck.
The driver who initiated the fatal crash along I-90 entered the roadway the wrong way at the Orange Street exit in Missoula, according to Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Jerry Ren.
Trooper Ren added a Montana Highway Patrol trooper was actually exiting at the same time and was nearly hit by the wrong way driver. The trooper then turned into the eastbound lanes and tried to catch the driver at the Van Buren exit.
The driver did not yield and the MHP trooper was almost hit again. Trooper Ren says the vehicle continued down the wrong way and sideswiped a semi-truck before colliding head-on with a second semi.
The collision ignited a fire in the roadway with MHP Sergeant Shawn Smalley telling MTN News that the second truck was not carrying hazardous materials.
Smalley said that one person from the other vehicle died in the crash while the driver of the truck was taken to the hospital.
The incident is currently under investigation by the Montana Highway Patrol.
MISSOULA – The Montana Highway Patrol confirms one person died in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 90 near East Broadway Wednesday afternoon.
Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Shawn Smalley confirmed with MTN News that a vehicle entered the roadway from an unknown exit heading in the wrong direction before colliding head-on with a chip truck at 1:18 p.m. near mile marker 106.
Smalley said that one person from the vehicle that was driving the wrong way died in the crash. The total number of occupants in that vehicle is not yet known.
The driver of the truck is being hospitalized.
The collision ignited a fire in the roadway, but Smalley said the truck was not carrying hazardous materials.
Traffic is being detoured around the accident. Westbound traffic is being diverted at the East Missoula exit onto West Broadway. Eastbound traffic is being diverted at the Van Buren exit onto Broadway, then onto I-90.
Missoula County Public Schools is also saying that the crash may cause 15 to 30-minute delays on their afternoon bus routes.
Mountain Line is also reporting that some bus routes in the area are being delayed because of the crash.