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Sheriff IDs man killed in Higgins Avenue traffic accident
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Sheriff IDs man killed in Higgins Avenue traffic accident

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Motorcycle Fatal

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Philip Smart, left, and Missoula Police Department Accident Investigator Stanley Fullerton take measurements Tuesday at the scene of an accident on Southwest Higgins Avenue that claimed the life of Gerald R. Nichols on Monday. Nichols was riding a motorcycle when he was struck by a vehicle.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office has released the name of a man who died in a traffic accident Monday. 

Gerald R. Nichols, 68, of Missoula, died after he was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle, according to a press release.

The collision occurred a little before 5 p.m. on the 900 block of Southwest Higgins Avenue. The driver was an 18-year-old woman who is participating in the investigation by the Missoula Police Department.

Juan Perez heard the crash from his neighbor’s apartment where he was watching TV, he said. He watched Missoula police and Montana Highway Patrol crash investigators collect evidence at the scene Tuesday. 

“It was horrific,” Perez said.

Perez found Nichols lying in the street after the crash, he said. The woman driving the car had been on her way to deliver DoorDash to one of his neighbors.

Perez held Nichols' hand while they waited for an ambulance to come.

“The only thing he could do was just move his eyes and just barely,” Perez said.

Nichols later died at a hospital.

“This kind of tragedy is one that is felt in the entire community,” said Missoula police chief Jaeson White. “Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased driver, and (we) ask for your patience as we complete this investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Eric Weber at 406-552-6283 or Det. Bob Franke at 406-552-6707.

In total, 31 people have died in fatal crashes this year in Montana, compared with 16 deaths last year.

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