A man died and a woman was injured in a single-car crash in Sanders County early Wednesday morning, according to Montana Highway Patrol.
A Lexus RX was driving north on Highway 135 when the passenger, a 47-year-old Spokane man, grabbed the steering wheel, a crash report stated. That caused the SUV to go off the right side of the road.
The car slid sideways and struck a tree, severely damaging the passenger side. It flipped, rolled and landed on its passenger side with its front end facing the roadway. The 47-year-old passenger died on scene. According to the report, he was not wearing a seat belt. Officials haven’t released the man’s name yet.
The crash occurred at about 1:20 a.m. at mile post 14 on U.S. Highway 135, near Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort. The driver, a 20-year-old woman from Sedro-Woolley, Washington, was injured and taken to the Clark Fork Valley Hospital in Plains. She was wearing a seat belt, according to the report.
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Alcohol and drugs were listed as suspected causes of the wreck, investigators determined.
Snowfall and frigid temperatures arrived in Montana late Tuesday, making roads across the state icy and wet.