Woman Killed While Dodging U-Turning Truck

By Beacon Staff

COLUMBIA FALLS (AP) – A Columbia Falls woman died after two cars collided and one burst into flames after it swerved to avoid a pickup making a U-turn on U.S. Highway 2 south of here.

Sara June Carter, 22, of Columbia Falls, was pronounced dead at Kalispell Regional Medical Center after the Thursday night crash, said sheriff’s Sgt. Lance Norman, a deputy Flathead County coroner.

It happened shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday.

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Jerril Ren said Carter was a passenger in a car that swerved to avoid a pickup truck carrying six teen-agers when the pickup’s driver, a 15-year-old boy, started to make a U-turn in front of the car.

The car skidded on the roadway, collided with a car traveling in the opposite direction and burst into flames, Ren said.

Norman said Carter was taken by ambulance to the Kalispell hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The 23-year-old man driving the car that swerved sustained only minor injuries, as did the 47-year-old man driving the second car, Ren said. He said no one in the pickup truck was injured.

Ren said the pickup fled the scene of the accident. Information was not immediately available about how the pickup driver was located or about any citations issued.

The death was Montana’s 135th highway fatality this year, compared to 139 on the same date in 2006.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.