Two sustain injuries after collision near Ronan
RONAN — On Sunday at approximately 2:43 p.m., Montana Highway Patrol and the Ronan Volunteer Fire Department responded to a wreck that occurred at 2:25 p.m. south of Ronan on U.S. Highway 93.
According to Trooper Shad Anderson, a Ford Five Hundred SE traveling in the south bound lane, drifted over the fog line to the right. The driver of the vehicle overcorrected to the left and fishtailed across both lanes of traffic before colliding with a Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck traveling north on U.S. Highway 93.
The driver of the car, Andrew Bennett Ostrander, 19, of Charlo and a younger brother were transported to St. Luke Community Health Care. The younger brother was released from the hospital the next morning with no serious injuries. Ostrander was immediately transferred to a hospital in Missoula sustaining bruises to the lungs, Anderson said.
Anderson noted that Ostrander is still in the hospital but is stable.
The driver of the truck, Richard Jason Parke, 27, of Eureka sustained no injuries at the time of the collision. His dog was also in the car and was saved by the airbags that were released upon impact.
Anderson said that citations are still pending, but alcohol was a factor in the wreck. All parties were wearing their seatbelts, he added.
According to Ronan Fire Chief Mark Clary, the two vehicles were totaled from the collision. The front end of the truck was smashed in and the back seat of the car was touching the driver’s seat.
If there had been passenger in the back seat of the car, that individual would have died in the wreck, Clary said.
Eyewitness accounts say the car was already fishtailing before the collision and the impact was unavoidable for the driver of the truck.
“The driver of the truck was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Clary said.
Anderson said Parke tried to avoid contact with the car by slowing down and pulling over, but he couldn’t stop the pick-up in time.
“Had the white pick-up been even a little bit over on his shoulder of the road, he would have impacted the car where the (younger) brother was sitting,” Anderson said. “Everyone involved is extremely lucky.”
Traffic was limited to one lane until law enforcement and the fire department cleared the scene at 3:49 p.m.