An Air Force family of four that vanished over the holiday weekend was found dead late Friday night inside of their crashed SUV. The Thanksgiving crash reportedly occurred Thursday morning but wasn’t discovered until the following day.
Montana Highway Patrol said the family’s SUV, a Toyota 4Runner, veered off Interstate 94 not far from Huntley, Montana shortly after 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. The vehicle then smashed over the median and went airborne before crashing into a concrete pillar beneath a bridge. The 4Runner rolled several more times before finally coming to a stop nose down in the water of Pryor Creek. Excessive speed is believed to have been the cause of the Thanksgiving crash.
Investigators identified the crash victims as Chelsi Dean, Anthony Dean, an Air Force staff sergeant, and their two daughters, aged 5 and 1.
“It’s like a nightmare you don’t wake up from,” said a friend of the family. The Dean family was traveling through Montana from Idaho for the holidays to visit Chelsi’s grandmother. The Dean family resided in North Dakota near the Grand Forks Air Force Base.
The Air Force base posted a statement about the Thanksgiving crash on their Facebook page: “Words are not enough during a time like this. AJ’s family brought a light to our community, and this loss strikes each of us deeply. May their friend and family be granted strength and serenity to get through this sorrowful time.”
Montana Highway Patrol is currently investigating the cause of the Thanksgiving crash.
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