Victims of Somers crash identifiedPublished On: Oct 31 2014 09:13:54 AM MDT
Updated On: Oct 31 2014 05:42:51 PM MDT
Flathead County authorities have identified the two men who died in a three-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 93 near Somers.
Sheriff Chuck Curry says the crash shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday killed 61-year-old John R. Bradstreet of Kalispell and 73-year-old Michael B. Berman of Somers.
The Montana Highway Patrol says Bradstreet was northbound in a pickup truck when he swerved into the right side guardrail and then into the southbound lane, where he struck a Jeep being driven by Berman.
Both men died at the scene. A third vehicle was unable to avoid hitting Bradstreet's pickup, but the driver wasn't injured.
Trooper Rick Mehring says a witness reported seeing Bradstreet swerving all over the road before the crash, but investigators hadn't determined why.
The following press release was sent out by the Flathead County Sheriff/Coroner’s office.
The Flathead County Sheriff released the names of two males killed in a three vehicle crash yesterday morning on Hwy 93 south of Somers.
The crash occurred shortly before 9 am. Killed in the crash were John R. Bradstreet, 61, of Kalispell and Michael B. Berman, 73, of Somers.
A pickup operated by Bradstreet was northbound, and crossed into Berman’s lane, striking him head on. A third vehicle was unable to avoid the crash and was also involved, but the driver suffered only minor injuries.
Berman and the driver of the third vehicle were wearing seatbelts, but Bradstreet was not. Both males were pronounced dead on the scene of multiple trauma.
It is unknown at this time if a medical issue, drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash, pending toxicology results.
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the Montana Highway Patrol, and further information is available from them.
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Family of victim speaks out after fatal Highway 93 crashPublished On: Oct 31 2014 05:34:15 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 31 2014 06:52:37 PM MDT
We're learning new information about the two Flathead men who died in a three vehicle accident that happened on Highway 93 near Somers. Troopers say 61-year-old John Bradstreet, from Kalispell, hit a Jeep driven by 73-year-old Michael Berman.
We spoke to a family member and found out what’s next in the investigation.
What started as a regular Thursday morning for Berman ended on the highway after a wreck took his life.
"It’s a terrible loss, and I’m devastated," said Berman’s wife, Maureen Hathaway.
Hathaway realizes what she’s lost.
"He was very warm; he had a twinkle in his eye all the time and he loved Montana. We just moved here about eight, nine years ago and his only regret was that we didn't move here sooner," Hathaway said.
Investigators closed the highway for a second time to try and piece together what happened.
"We'll mark where each vehicle ended up -- their tires and skid marks from tires and scuff marks and gouges in the road, that we think came from the crash, and then any significant parts like glass. All that helps us determine where the initial impact was at and then all the final positions of the vehicles," said Trooper Thomas Manz, from Montana Highway Patrol.
We’re told there aren’t enough skid marks to determine how fast the cars were traveling at the time of the accident. But the other information that is gathered will be put into a database.
"After that it’s imported into a computer and the lead investigator just connects the dots and we have a drawing," Manz said.
All of that information can be used for possible litigation.
The Montana Department of Transportation was also at the investigation. They look at the road conditions and signage along the highway -- things that could have contributed to the cause of the wreck.
"That helps release us from any liability that might be out there," said Dave Rauser, from MDT.
But for Berman’s wife, what’s most important right now is to keep his memory alive.
"That's what he would have wanted. Just to continue and make this place my home and remember how much we both loved it here,” Hathaway said.
It is still unclear what caused the accident.
Highway 93 crash near Somers leaves two deadPublished On: Oct 30 2014 06:19:38 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 30 2014 11:15:06 PM MDT
Two Flathead Valley men died in a three-vehicle crash in the Flathead Thursday. That crash caused traffic delays on U.S. Highway 93 just south of Somers.
A Jeep, Subaru, and a pickup truck collided near mile marker 101, south of Somers around 9 a.m. One of the vehicles ended up upside-down in a ditch.
NBC Montana was on the scene just after the wreck was called in. There was a truck, sliced in half and two people dead.
The driver of a purple Ford pickup truck, a 61-year-old Kalispell man, was headed north on Highway 93.
Montana Highway Patrol troopers say the driver was driving recklessly.
A woman driving a Subaru was headed south. She noticed the reckless driver and was about to call it in.
"I believe the report is that she was either getting ready to call it in or was on the phone. I’m not 100 percent sure at the moment. But she was about ready to report the driver of the purple truck as a possible reckless driver," said Trooper Jerril Ren.
That’s when the driver of the truck reportedly hit the guardrail, over-corrected, then crossed the line and hit a silver Jeep head on. The Jeep flipped, and landed on its roof in a ditch. The driver, a 73-year-old man died on impact. But the truck kept moving.
“The pickup spun around into the road,” Ren said.
It spun into the path of the Subaru, driven by the woman trying to call for help.
"The gal that was about ready to report it, then couldn't avoid striking the truck that came back into the road. So she struck that vehicle with hers," Ren said.
That’s what split the truck in two. The woman driving the Subaru suffered minor injuries but refused treatment.
All lanes heading both directions were blocked. The accident was cleared about three hours later.
Officials are still investigating to find out why the driver of the truck was driving recklessly. They have not ruled out anything, including possible medical problems.
Police respond to report of injured student at Missoula schoolPublished On: Oct 31 2014 03:52:11 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 31 2014 05:47:33 PM MDT
According to the Missoula Police Department, officers responded to a report that a 10-year-old had been injured at Cold Springs School at about 12:16 p.m. The school is located in south Missoula on the 2600-block of Briggs St.
The injury is said to have occurred early Friday morning. Investigators were on scene conducting interviews and attempting to determine what occurred.
The student is currently being treated at a local hospital, where his parents are also speaking to officers.
Police officers said the incident happened when a student charged a teacher, and the teacher put up her hands in self-defense. The boy apparently fell and hit his head.
Officials report the boy’s parents called 9-1-1 at 12:16 and reported their child had allegedly been injured shortly before 11 a.m.
The school district confirms the child was injured, but will not discuss any other details.
Two men injuried in Seeley Lake work site explosionPublished On: Oct 31 2014 06:44:28 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 31 2014 06:51:53 PM MDT
Two people are in the hospital after an explosion at a western Montana work site Friday. The call came in around 8:30 a.m. after workers reportedly ruptured a propane line behind the Bear and Bison Mercantile in Seeley Lake just northeast of Missoula. It's about three blocks away from Seeley Lake Elementary.
Seeley Lake's Police Chief, Bob Vandenheuvel, said two workers were repairing a leak in an underground propane line when the explosion happened. Thanks to students at Seeley Lake Elementary, fire crews were promptly notified.
Friday morning in Julie Little's second grade class started with a loud boom. A student looked out the window and the saw flames.
"The kids were like 'That was a loud noise' and then some of them said 'Ms. Little, there's a fire outside the window,'" said Little.
That's when Little shut the blinds and told the school to call authorities.
"The fire's not close to us, it's going to be OK, so let's just go back to work, and we're not going to get distracted by it," said Little.
While Ms. Little's class got back to work, fire crews hurried to the explosion site. The two men were badly burned and taken to the hospital. Vandenheuvel says they fended off the flames while they tried to turn off the propane source.
"There was a fire, the flames were about 10 feet above the hole they are working on now, and it was a propane leak with an ignition source, so it was an actual flame coming out," said Vandenheuvel.
They did get it turned off and put the fire out. Now crews are working to repair the propane line and figure out what sparked the explosion. Fire crews said both men were badly burned and were taken to St. Patrick Hospital.
The State Occupational Safety and Health Administration office said compliance officers headed to the scene and are looking into the accident. Fire crews and workers were asked to leave the area untouched until OSHA is done investigating.