Christmas Eve Accident Kills 2; Crashes Abound in Montana

Two people died in a tragic Christmas Eve crash along Interstate 90 in Gallatin County. Montana Highway Patrol said the Christmas Eve crash was likely caused by excessive speeding over icy roads.

The Christmas Eve crash occurred on I-90 between Belgrad and Manhattan just before midnight. Investigators with the Montana Highway Patrol said a Mercury Grand Marquis lost control due to slick, ice-covered roads and hit a semi truck trailer that then jackknifed a third vehicle, a Ford Edge.

The occupants of the semi truck and the Ford Edge were not injured in the Christmas Eve crash since they were all wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision. The occupants of the Mercury Grand Marquis, however, were not wearing seatbelts and were ejected from the vehicle. They were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

The victims were later identified as Laci Burkhart, 35, from Willow Creek, and Judd Smutt, 41, from Bozeman.

The Christmas Eve crash is currently being investigated by the Montana Highway Patrol. At this time, drugs or alcohol have not been ruled out as a contributing factor to the crash.

This Christmas Eve crash was just one of dozens of crashes throughout Montana during the 24-hour holiday period. Montana Highway Patrol confirmed that they received reports of close to 60 crashes from every corner of Montana. The recent heavy snowfall is surely to blame for the cascade of holiday collisions. Upwards of twenty crashes occurred in the Billings district alone. Drivers should be reminded to take extra precautions when traveling in wintry weather and to use snow chains whenever possible.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by the reckless driving of another person then you will need an Advocate to help you recover what you are owed. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping accident victims all throughout Montana. We know better than anyone how to help you seek just compensation for the injuries and losses you suffered. Don’t wait to contact our office today for a free case evaluation. You can either call us at (406) 534-7179 or you can chat online immediately with a live attorney from our homepage. When you hire an Advocate to represent your car accident case, know that your recovery will always be our first priority. You deserve an Advocate!