Fog and Black Ice Cause Crash Between Missoula and Lolo Saturday
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Just after 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, KGVO News witnessed several Missoula County Sheriff’s Office vehicles, a Montana Highway Patrol cruiser and other emergency vehicles racing south from Missoula on U.S. 93 responding to an injury accident.
Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Andrew McFarland spoke to KGVO News on Saturday afternoon and provided details about the two-vehicle accident.
Yet Another Vehicle Going too Fast for Conditions on Highway 93 South
“A southbound vehicle on U.S. Highway 93 South lost control, and in the process of losing control, they overcorrected and went across the highway into northbound traffic where they were struck in the side by a northbound Ford F-150 pickup truck,” began Trooper McFarland. “Three occupants of the Ford F-150 were taken to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula and the other driver was unharmed. It was freezing fog at the time and the roads were solid black ice.”
Trooper McFarland described the numerous emergency vehicles that responded to the crash.
"I was dispatched the call at 8:19 a.m. and there were deputies there with the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office, the Missoula County Sheriff's Office, as well as troopers out of the Missoula detachment office in the Ravalli Detachment office, as well as Florence Fire, along with ambulances from Missoula. No alcohol was reported and no drugs were reported. All occupants were wearing their seat belts, thankfully."
Trooper McFarland explained why the road conditions may have been deceptive in the freezing fog.
The Trooper said Freezing Fog can be Deceptive and to Slow Down
“The freezing fog will cause ice to build up on the roadway in a fine enough layer that it's invisible to the eye, and it will turn the road essentially into an ice rink which makes for very hazardous driving conditions,” he said. “Couple that with the fog itself and visibility was limited to 10 to 15 feet in front of you, and it's imperative that people slow down and drive with more due regard when the weather's as bad as it is."
The stretch of Highway 93 South between Missoula and Lolo has seen innumerable accidents over the years, and Trooper McFarland echoed the advice of all law enforcement personnel who patrol that stretch of highway to slow down and increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, especially in freezing fog conditions.
Thankfully, All Involved were Wearing Seat Belts and there were no Fatalities
“Slow down,” stated Trooper McFarland. “Especially when the weather's bad to give more space to the vehicles in front of you. I realize everyone's rushing either to work or back to home after getting off work, but giving every vehicle in front of you 10 to 15 more feet can make a big difference especially in icy road conditions or with heavy fog. It could be the difference between giving you enough warning to stop in time or resulting in a motor vehicle crash.”
KGVO thanks Trooper McFarland for providing the crash information and the advice that will hopefully prevent more such accidents on that very dangerous stretch of Highway 93.