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Friends create road-side memorial for Great Falls teen who died in a crash

Friends create memorial for Great Falls teen who died in a crash
Brendon Jacintho
Friends create memorial for Great Falls teen who died in a crash
Friends create memorial for Great Falls teen who died in a crash
Posted at 4:40 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 18:40:41-04

GREAT FALLS — Cascade County Sheriff/Coroner Jesse Slaughter on Monday identified Nathan Patrick Dunn as the person who died in a vehicle crash in Great Falls on Sunday, March 14th. Dunn, 16-years old, was from Great Falls. The two other occupants of the vehicle - an 18-year old driver and a juvenile passenger - were injured, but their injuries were not life-threatening.

“I was actually asleep and my sister, she came into my room, and she told me that Nathan had died,” said 16-year-old Brendon Jacintho, a friend of Dunn.

When Jacintho was first told his friend of almost a decade was dead, he didn’t believe it: “I thought it was a prank because it was his birthday and he’d do something like that. He’s that kind of kid. Then, I looked on Snapchat and I saw a lot of people posted that Nathan had died in a car crash.”

A memorial of flowers, a pinwheel, candles in the shape of the number 16, and a few miscellaneous items are now at the crash site on Airport Drive.

Jacintho said he brought a lighter, but didn’t want to say exactly what it means. “Something private,” Jacintho said. “(Nathan) was just always fun to hang around. He was always funny, he always had stories to tell. You could talk to him for hours. He was just that type of person. He had the best charisma ever.”

“He died the only way he knew how to live - having fun,” Jacintho said.

Spray-painted markings on the road from the initial investigation and tire marks give some indication of what happened. According to police, Dunn, another juvenile passenger whose age had not been released Wednesday and an 18-year-old driver were in the car when it crashed just after 1:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Police also say speed and alcohol are believed to be factors. Dunn’s body was sent to the state lab in Missoula for an autopsy, but the final report could take several weeks. We will update you if we get more information.