A 32-year-old man died early Wednesday morning after he backed the car he was driving off a steep cliff on a dirt mountain road near Clinton, east of Missoula. The Missoula County Sheriff's Office has identified him as Christopher L. Maloney of Great Falls.
The Montana Highway Patrol reported that the accident occurred at about 2:30 a.m. on Forest Service Road 4241 near the Schwartz Creek Fishing Access, at about mile marker .7 near Clinton. A 44-year-old man from East Helena, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was injured and was transported by ambulance to St. Patrick Hospital. Maloney was pronounced dead at the scene.
Alcohol and/or drugs are suspected to be factors in the crash, as is the lack of seat belt use. Speed is not considered to be a factor. The crash is still under investigation.