UPDATE 2:55 P.M.: Authorities identified the 16-year-old girl killed in crash near Drummond Wednesday night.
Investigators say Erika Kruger was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected in the crash.
She died as a result of blunt force trauma.
HELENA – A 16-year-old Helena girl is dead after a crash east of Missoula Wednesday night. The other person in the car, a 22-year-old man also from Helena, was flown to St. Patrick’s hospital in Missoula with life-threatening injuries.
The Montana Highway Patrol said the crash happened shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday when the pair’s Subaru Forester drifted onto the shoulder of I-90 about 3 miles west of Drummond. The driver overcorrected and crossed into both lanes of traffic eventually hitting the center median.
Neither of the car’s occupants was wearing seat belts and both were thrown from the car.
The teenager was pronounced dead on the scene.
The Montana Highway Patrol is investigating whether drugs and speed are considered factors in the crash, an initial report indicated that alcohol was not a factor. A toxicology report is being completed as part of the crash investigation according to Trooper Tim Wyckoff. Wyckoff told MTN late Thursday that there was no initial evidence of drugs at the scene.
The Montana Highway Patrol and the Granite County Sheriff Office are continuing to investigate.
*Clarification 04/25/2019 4:17 p.m.: Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Tim Wyckoff clarified that MHP is investigating whether speed and drugs were a factor in the crash and at that, at the time of the first report it was too early to make a definitive conclusion*