Nearly 50 incidents were reported by the Montana Highway Patrol in Mineral County from Feb. 4 through Monday morning on Feb. 11. Adverse weather continues to pound the area with heavy snow and high winds — creating hazardous driving conditions. There were also two-hour school delays for Mineral County schools on Feb. 4. Statewide, there were more than 80 slide-offs and 180 crashes reported by the Highway Patrol on Feb. 4.
This included an early-morning semi-truck which spun out of control in the westbound lane of Interstate 90. The incident occurred near the Idaho border on Lookout Pass — blocking one lane of traffic. The Frenchtown Fire Department also reported a wreck involving a white SUV at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 6, in the eastbound lane near Mile Marker 27 with no injuries. The incident reduced traffic to one lane.
Overall on I-90 in Mineral County, there were 11 incidents reported on Feb. 4, with Feb. 5 being the highest day with 13 incidents reported. Feb. 6 saw seven reported incidents and on Feb. 10 there were nine. Patrol officers urge drivers to slow down, check road reports, and plan for extra time when driving on winter roads.
People should also take appropriate clothing, even for short trips. At minus-20 degrees Fahrenheit wind chill, a person can experience frostbite in less than 30 minutes.
For the safety of everyone, law enforcement would also like to remind drivers to slow down when they see flashing emergency lights and give first responders plenty of space.
“Please give those first responders and those citizens that are involved in that incident some space,” said MHP Sergeant Alex Betz. “Don’t go blowing by them at highway speeds. It’s so dangerous out there — if we could all reduce our speeds a little bit we’ll get there safely and first responders can do their jobs.”