A winter weather advisory has been issued for the entire western half of Montana until late Tuesday. We also expect to see more snow later in the week in addition to the storm front currently moving in today. With that in mind, we have made the decision to release the following video in the hopes that it will encourage all drivers to exercise caution and lower their speeds especially during inclement weather. The video features dash-cam footage showing a series of crashes that occurred during a blizzard on December 28th, 2014 near Missoula.
Here is a backstory behind the video: MHP Trooper Wade Palmer and Cadet (now Trooper) Timothy Templeton arrived at the scene of a crash involving a mother and her two small children. Conditions were hazardous as the crash occurred during a blizzard. The dash-cam footage captures a series of subsequent collisions occurring after the initial crash that disabled the family’s vehicle. In the first subsequent collision, a semi-truck hits the passenger vehicle parked on the shoulder of the road, causing the mother to be ejected from the vehicle. She landed in the highway median. Trooper Palmer located the victim in the median and rendered aid. While that was happening, Cadet Templeton saw an out-of-control truck and trailer headed directly toward Trooper Palmer and the victim. Templeton shouted a warning and Trooper Palmer was able to pull himself and the victim to safety within seconds, thereby saving his life and that of the mother. Thankfully, everyone survived. The mother and her two children are on the road to recovery.
The Montana Highway Patrol recommends that when driving in winter weather, drivers slow down, increase their following distance, allow themselves more time to get to their destination, brake gently and have patience.
This video may be disturbing to some viewers; viewer caution is advised.