A driver who fled the scene continues to be on the run in the wake of a car crash that sent four people to the hospital in Billings. Authorities are blaming a wrong-way driver for causing an August 19 car accident at the Laurel overpass on Interstate 90 that left one victim with a back injury and another with possible internal bleeding in the head.

According to reports, the multi-vehicle accident took place at around 8:45 in the evening when a Ford Ranger pickup began traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of the interstate. A minivan carrying four occupants hit the brakes to avoid a collision, only to be rear-ended by a loaded charter bus.

The Ford Ranger rolled over in the highway median and the driver escaped on foot before highway patrol and emergency responders reached the scene. The four occupants of the minivan had to be extracted by firefighters using the Jaws of Life. Fortunately, the passengers on the charter bus, all Stillwater Mining employees, escaped injury.

Because the pickup truck driver managed to escape, it may never be known whether alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident, but the pending accident investigation should at least provide the details necessary to determine who was at fault for causing this extremely dangerous situation.

For the four injured accident victims a reliable determination of fault will be essential to their ability to seek compensation for their injuries. Unfortunately, unless and until the wrong-way driver is apprehended, the victims will have to rely exclusively on their own insurance to cover the losses they suffer in the aftermath of an already traumatic experience.

Source: Missoulian, “Four injured when wrong-way Billings driver cause I-90 crash,” Zach Benoit, Aug. 20, 2012