Ronan Man Killed When Tree Topples Onto His Car

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Two people died in separate crashes on Montana’s snowcovered highways Saturday as a winter storm gripped the state.

The Montana Highway Patrol says a gust of wind toppled a tree onto a car on Montana 35 near Polson at 7:30 a.m., killing the 24-year-old Ronan man who was driving.

About two hours later, one person died and two were injured in a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 212 near Laurel.

The patrol says the driver of a sport utility vehicle lost control and crashed head-on into an oncoming pickup. The passenger in the pickup, a 71-year-old woman from Worland, Wyo., was killed while the 69-year-old male driver was injured. The driver of the SUV, a 65-year-old man from Silesia, was also injured.

The names of the victims have not been released.

The deaths raise the state highway fatality toll to 221, compared to 264 on Dec. 13, 2007.