Icy roads lead to semi crashes in western Montana, 2 killed

December 19, 2018
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This photo provided by the Frenchtown Rural Fire District shows where five tractor-trailers crashed on icy Interstate 90 near the town of Superior in western Montana early Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, leading to the deaths of two drivers and injuries to two other people, including a rural firefighter who slipped and fell on an icy bridge deck. One driver jumped out of his rig to avoid oncoming traffic and went over a guardrail, falling to his death. (Mel Holtz/Frenchtown Rural Fire District via AP)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A pre-dawn pileup of tractor-trailers on an icy bridge deck on Interstate 90 in western Montana led to the deaths of two truck drivers and injuries to two other people.

The Montana Highway Patrol said the first semi went into a broadside skid in the eastbound lanes between Alberton and Superior about 4 a.m. Wednesday, dumping a load of lumber across the eastbound and westbound lanes.

The driver of a second eastbound semi swerved to avoid the jackknifed truck. The driver then jumped out of his rig in an attempt to avoid oncoming traffic. However, in the dark he jumped over the guardrail and fell to his death, Trooper Terry Rosenbaum said. There were conflicting reports over how far he fell.

Two other trucks also crashed, and the driver of a fifth truck died when he slammed into the wrecked trucks.

Another truck driver was injured, and a Frenchtown Rural Fire District firefighter was injured when he slipped on black ice and fell over the bridge deck.

The names, ages and hometowns of the victims have not been released.

Both the eastbound and westbound lanes of the interstate were closed into Wednesday afternoon. Traffic was being routed around the crash site between Superior and Tarkio, the Montana Department of Transportation said.

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