Police say excessive speed was a factor in a crash that claimed the lives of two 28-year-old Butte men in Uptown Butte early Monday morning.
Casey Boyle, a teacher at Butte High School, and Kyle Burgman were roommates, police said.
Neither man was wearing a seat belt, and both were thrown “quite a distance” from a 2006 Ford Focus shortly after midnight, Butte-Silver Bow Undersheriff George Skuletich said
Burgman died at the scene, and Boyle was transported to St. James Healthcare where he was pronounced dead. Both died of blunt force trauma, Butte-Silver Bow Coroner Lee LaBreche said.
The men were traveling eastbound on East Park Street, failed to negotiate the curve at Shields Avenue, and crossed into the northbound lane. The vehicle hit the shoulder or drainage filled with river rocks and then overturned multiple times, coming to rest just north of Mercury Street and south of the Belmont Senior Center.
“It was a very violent crash ... Speed was a factor in the accident. (It is) unknown if alcohol was, at this time,” Skuletich said.
If the men had worn seat belts, he said, Monday’s crash may have had a different outcome.
Police were alerted by a taxi driver in the Uptown area who saw a large cloud of dust and the wrecked vehicle.
The interior of the vehicle was intact, Skuletich said, adding that the windows — with the exception of the rear window — were shattered and the doors and the exterior were “basically destroyed.”
He said the Montana Highway Patrol will assist police in the investigation and the accident reconstruction.
“It was a difficult scene for our officers to be on. There was a lot of damage … having two deceased people is tough to deal with for our officers,” Skuletich said.
By many accounts, Boyle was well-liked by his students and their parents. He taught adaptive physical education and health at Butte High School and at the Butte High Career Center.
Superintendent Judy Jonart was devastated by the news. "The Butte school district family is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Casey Boyle and Kyle Burgman and extends our sincerest condolences to family and friends," Jonart said.
Burgman and his family, including Butte High teacher Dale Burgman, have donated many hours to Butte High and district events, she said.
Jonart said Burgman attended Montana Tech to study engineering. She said he "was an excellent student at BHS, a fierce competitor and an excellent basketball player."
Boyle, she said, had a big impact on his young charges — special education students.
"In the short time working in the Butte school district, Casey made a huge impact on students and staff," she said. "He was a natural educator who brought joy and energy to the classroom each day. He made learning fun, and his positive attitude was contagious."