GREAT FALLS — Two people died and three people were injured in a crash in Cascade County on Saturday morning. The two-vehicle crash involved a semi truck and a passenger vehicle. The passenger vehicle was occupied by a a family of five. It happened at about 8:45 a.m. on US Highway 89 between Great Falls and Belt.
Cascade County Sheriff/Coroner Jesse Slaughter said at a news conference on Saturday afternoon that Tyler Weir, a 35-year old Master Sergeant in the Montana Air National Guard, and Weir's son Wyatt, 10 years old, died in the crash.
Weir's wife Jennifer sustained serious injuries and is currently at Benefis Health System; the Weir's two other children, ages 8 and 6, have been airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The nature of their injuries has not been disclosed.
Sheriff Slaughter said that Tyler and Jennifer Weir were also members of the Cascade County Search & Rescue agency.
Sheriff Slaughter, who was joined at the news conference by Colonel Trace Thomas of the MT ANG, said, “The most important thing, I know for me, and I know for Colonel Thomas, is that we take care of the families, so that’s going to be our goal at this point moving forward. We know that the investigation is in good hands with the Montana Highway Patrol, but right now, it’s important that we’re going to help take care of the families involved in this. I’ve been in contact with all the next of kin myself, making arrangements and helping them out.”
According to the MHP: "Vehicle #1 stopped on the westbound shoulder then attempted to complete a u-turn in front of vehicle #2. A t-bone collision occurred; vehicle #2 struck vehicle #1 broadside. Vehicle #1 spun off the roadway and rolled down the embankment into a field, where it landed on its wheels."
Every person involved in the crash was wearing a seatbelt, and there are no indications that alcohol or drugs were involved.
There is no word at this point on the condition of the 26-year old driver of the truck. We will update you when we get more information, including any details about how people can help the family.
(1st REPORT, 9:44 a.m.) The Montana Highway Patrol is at the scene of a crash in Cascade County. It happened near mile marker 82 of US Highway 89, between Great Falls and Belt. The MHP was notified of the incident at 9:01 a.m. on Saturday.
At least one person is believed to have been seriously injured. A Mercy Flight helicopter from Benefis Health System has been requested.
The Montana Department of Transportation website warns of complete lane blockage, reduced speeds, and delays. Drivers should avoid the area if possible, and be prepared for slowed/stopped traffic.