Officials identify 16-year-old Helena girl killed in Granite County crash

Posted at 3:11 PM, Apr 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-25 18:32:36-04

Authorities have identified the Helena teenager who died in a crash in Granite County Wednesday night.

Investigators identified 16-year-old Erika Kruger as the victim of a crash that also injured a 22-year-old Helena man.

Neither occupant was wearing a seat belt and both Kruger and the 22-year-old man were ejected.

Kruger died as a result of blunt force trauma, according to investigators.

(1st Report, 10:44 a.m.) A 16-year-old Helena girl is dead after a crash east of Missoula Wednesday night.

The other person in the car, a 22-year-old man from Helena, was flown to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula with life-threatening injuries.

The Montana Highway Patrol said the crash happened shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday when the pair’s Subaru Forester drifted onto the shoulder of I-90 about 3 miles west of Drummond.

The driver overcorrected and crossed into both lanes of traffic eventually hitting the center median.

Neither of the car’s occupants were wearing seat belts and both were thrown from the car.

The teenager was pronounced dead on the scene.

The Montana Highway Patrol is investigating whether drugs and speed are considered factors in the crash. An initial report indicated that alcohol was not a factor.

A toxicology report is being completed as part of the crash investigation according to Trooper Tim Wyckoff. Wyckoff told MTN late Thursday that there was no initial evidence of drugs at the scene.

The Montana Highway Patrol and the Granite County Sheriff Office are investigating.

*Clarification 04/25/2019 4:17 p.m.: Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Tim Wyckoff clarified that MHP is investigating whether speed and drugs were a factor in the crash and at that, at the time of the first report it was too early to make a definitive conclusion*