‘How did you survive?’ Utah man hit by wrong-way driver recounts crash north of Helena

Phil Drake

Marty and Sarah Duffin were heading south on Interstate 15 in their 2018 GMC Yukon Denali during the evening on Dec. 30, chatting about how dark it was, when Marty saw some flashing lights on patrol vehicles coming the other way in the northbound lane.

The Duffins’ vehicle was on cruise control. The roads were dry and free of ice as they were about 20 miles north of Helena on a trip that would eventually take them to West Glacier for some snowmobiling.

But Marty saw the flashing lights in the northbound lane across the median, “way the heck over there,” and returned his gaze to the road ahead. It was then he saw headlights heading his way that were dangerously close. They were cloudy and foggy, and he could barely tell they were on.

And then, as Marty puts it: “Bam!”

The Utah couple’s vehicle collided with a pickup truck driven by a 57-year-old Helena man who was going the wrong way on the interstate, sending the Denali spinning like a helicopter blade, Marty recalled Wednesday in a telephone interview with the Independent Record.

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