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Crash kills Stevi woman

Crash kills Stevi woman

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HAMILTON - A woman was killed and two men were injured Wednesday morning in a head-on collision on Eastside Highway north of Stevensville.

All three victims in the crash were Stevensville residents.

According to Montana Highway Patrol reports, Rusty Ford, 18, was heading south in his 1971 Volkswagen van and went around a car that was stopped and waiting to turn left onto Dry Gulch Road.

Ford's vehicle went into the northbound lane of traffic and crashed head-on into an oncoming 1988 Honda Accord driven by Reuben Kitzan, 69, said Chris Hamilton, a state highway patrolman.

Kitzan's wife, Elda, 72, a passenger in the Honda, suffered severe head injuries and died after Life Flight helicopter flew her to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. Reuben Kitzan and Ford were taken by ambulance to Community Medical Center in Missoula where they were treated and later released.

"It's unclear why the van was in the wrong lane," Hamilton said.

The accident, which occurred about 10:30 a.m., is still under investigation. No citations were issued as of late Wednesday.

Hamilton said road conditions may have been a factor: Eastside Highway was snow-packed and icy and had a fresh light dusting of snow on it at the time of the crash. Hamilton said it wasn't immediately known if the motorists were wearing seat belts.

Thursday - 12/24/98
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