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HELENA (AP) - Four people died in crashes over the New Year's holiday, the Montana Highway Patrol reported Thursday.

A vehicle drifted off a county road near Browning early Thursday, the driver overcorrected and the vehicle overturned several times into a field, ejecting all three occupants, the patrol said.

Thomas Crosby and Peter Homegun, both 32 of Browning, were killed in the 6:10 a.m. crash while 16-year-old Kellen Homegun was hospitalized in critical condition, the patrol said.

Theirs were the first two highway deaths of 2004.

On Wednesday, two people were killed in separate crashes, one near Stevensville and one near Butte.

At 6:19 p.m., a 47-year-old Stevensville man swerved to avoid a deer and lost control of his car on icy Highway 203, said officer Scott Bennett.

Albert Duane Spang's car slid into the path of a pickup truck. Spang, who was not wearing a seat belt, died in the crash. The driver of the pickup sustained minor injuries.

And at 11:18 p.m., a 25-year-old Anaconda man failed to negotiate a curve on Interstate 15 near Butte. His vehicle struck a guardrail, he overcorrected and the vehicle rolled once, ejecting the driver. The man's name was being withheld until his family could be notified.

The deaths raised the 2003 highway fatality toll to 260, compared to 269 in 2002.

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