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Police arrest driver in fatal Montana truck accident

What could have been a wonderful visit to family in another state turned tragic when an 81-year-old man died after being struck by a truck. The victim, on his annual trek to Texas, was walking in the westbound lane of I-90 in Montana during the early morning hours.

According to local authorities, a third suspect has now been arrested in connection with this accident. One man reported the incident a month following the tragedy, after learning about the accident details online. According to this co-driver, he was in the truck's sleeping cab when he heard and felt the collision. When the co-driver asked what had happened, the driver said that he had hit someone.

The driver then stopped the truck and the two men walked back a distance, but found nothing except the truck's damaged headlight. The two then drove back to the scene and as they got near Mile 376.5, the co-driver noticed some clothing in the passing lane. The driver went out with a flashlight and said that it was only a duffle bag and some clothes.

When an officer asked the driver about the crash later on, he said that he hit a deer and told his truck company's repair personnel that he hit a hawk.

Authorities knew that a truck initially hit the victim, but they were uncertain what company owned the truck. The collision happened around 3:00 a.m., but no one reported the incident to the Montana Highway Patrol for four hours. Two others have been charged in connection with the hit-and-run, as well.

The truck driver is facing several felony charges related to leaving the scene of a truck accident.

In Montana, a driver involved in an accident must report it and stay at the scene. If a negligent truck driver or company compromises safety and causes an accident, the victim may then have the option to file a lawsuit and seek compensation.

Source: Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, "Hit-and-run driver who killed Wasilla man arrested in Iowa," Heather Resz, Jan. 25, 2014

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