BILLINGS – Four teenagers were killed in a single-vehicle crash in an industrial area of Montana’s largest city, authorities said.
Police said speed, no seatbelts and possibly alcohol contributed to the accident just before 2 a.m. Saturday morning in Billings. The vehicle went off the roadway, causing the driver to lose control and strike a large metal pole supporting a sign for a stockyard, Billings police said.
Two victims died on scene. Two had critical injuries and were transported to a hospital where they were pronounced dead.
Killed in the crash were two 14-year-old girls, a 17-year-old male and an 18-year-old male, police said. Their identities were not immediately released.
A small memorial had been erected at the crash site on Sunday. People left flowers and wrote notes on a piece of posterboard taped to the pole that was struck by the victims’ vehicle.
Ryan Pitman, a friend of the victims who was visiting the crash site with his father, said he had dropped off the two girls at the 18-year-old’s house earlier on the night of the accident. Later, Pitman said, he was returning back to the house to pick up the three younger victims when he crashed his own vehicle, according to Pitman and his father.
A short time later, the 17-year-old victim was driving the two girls home with the fourth victim also in the car when they crashed, said Pitman, whose father is a former Yellowstone County commissioner.
Pitman said the girls died at the scene and other two were taken to the hospital, where Pitman, 17, was being treated following his crash.
“They were all great,” Pitman said of the victims.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.