Victims Identified From Weekend Traffic Fatalities – Request From Montana Highway Patrol [YouTube]
The Montana Highway Patrol is asking for the public's help in their investigation into a fatal crash that occurred in Missoula early Saturday morning that killed a 17 year-old boy, and left the 16 year-old driver in critical condition.
Captain Jim Kitchen said the accident on Spurgin Road and 27th is still under investigation.
"We're looking for any witnesses that might have seen that occur," Kitchen said. "We're still looking for anyone that might have passed the accident site. If so, please contact the Montana Highway Patrol office here in Missoula at 329-1500."
Kitchen said only two vehicles were actually involved in the fatal crash, but several others were in the vicinity when the accident occurred.
"There were mainly two vehicles, but there were several other vehicles that were passed," he said. "We want to be able to put it together a little better, We've got the crash scene pretty much done, but if there were any other witnesses observing what that vehicle was doing, we'd really like to talk with them. It is a tragedy when a young person loses their life like that. It's something that we try to deter. Education and enforcement is our business."
The Missoula County Coroner has identified the victim as 17 year-old Dante Martin of Missoula.
The coroner also identified the victim of an incident that occurred on Interstate 90 early Friday morning as 63 year-old Richard Balhiser of Wolf Creek, Montana.
According to the Montana Highway Patrol, Balhiser was lying in the middle of the road just after midnight on Friday morning, when the driver of an approaching semi-truck spotted something in the road, and attempted to avoid striking it. She told investigators that a male stood up and ran into the path of the semi, and was killed.
Detective Lt. Scott Newell with the Missoula County Sheriff's Office said on Monday, that there was no suicide note left by the victim, so the death was not officially ruled a suicide.