Truck Rollover Near Libby Leaves 2 in Critical Condition

Sheriff says alcohol was a factor in the crash, and no one was wearing seat belts

By Beacon staff

A one-vehicle rollover wreck north of Libby has left two men in critical condition, and injured a teenage boy.

According to Lincoln County Sheriff Roby Bowe, his deputies were dispatched at 6:18 p.m. on Sept. 6 to a crash on Pipe Creek Road at about mile marker 3. Upon arrival, responders found a 2004 Ford pickup truck had rolled with two men and a boy inside.

The driver, Tyler Ruhter, 31, was flown to Kalispell Regional Medical Center and is in critical condition. Passenger Joseph Wesley Barns, 39, was also flown to KRMC and is in critical condition. The 13-year-old boy received non-life-threatening injuries.

Bowe said the driver appeared to lose control while traveling northbound, failing to negotiate a curve. He overcorrected, and rolled multiple times. No one was wearing seat belts, and all three were ejected from the truck during the crash.

Alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash, Bowe said.

Montana Highway Patrol is investigating the wreck.

Emergency responders included the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Libby Ambulance, Advanced Life Support, Life Flight, ALERT, and the Libby Volunteer Fire Department.