A hillside slumped onto Interstate 90 early Friday, sending large boulders crashing into the guardrail while scattering smaller stones across the roadway, resulting in the crash of a tractor-trailer.

Montana Highway Patrol Officer Steve Gaston said the driver of the semi hit a rock measuring more than 2 feet in diameter. The resulting crash, reported at 4:40 a.m., ruptured one of the truck’s fuel tanks.

Gaston said the driver wasn’t injured in the crash. The accident was cleared by 7 a.m., although the Montana Department of Transportation remained on scene late Friday afternoon.

“The guardrail was pushed over the shoulder of the intestate,” Gaston said. “The rocks that came down were pretty big. There were two large boulders, one the size of a sleeper on the truck, the other the size of Volkswagen.”

One westbound lane near mile marker 24 at Henderson was closed after the accident. Gaston said highway crews were repairing damage to the guardrail, and one lane remained closed throughout the day.

“The traffic is pretty sparse out here,” Gaston said. “The road’s open, but they’re got one lane closed.”

Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5240

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