Accident Victim Identified – Deputies Help Save Two Lives
The victim of Thursday afternoon’s fatal crash has been identified by the Missoula County Coroner's Office as 75 year-old Alvaro Maldenado Diaz of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Missoula County Undersheriff Rich Maricelli said that the motor home containing eight people was on the way home to Colorado when the accident occurred.
Mr. Diaz was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the motor home and two others were severely injured, however, Maricelli said sheriff’s deputies on scene helped save two lives.
“Our deputy coroner, Sergeant Jeremiah Peterson said in this particular case that two of our officers provided lifesaving efforts on two of the individuals, and at this point they are being credited with saving the lives of two additional individuals,” said Maricelli. “In conjunction with the horrific situation this family is going through, there’s some good news to share because it could have been much worse than it was.”
Maricelli said those actions were confirmed by both the Emergency Room staff at St. Patrick Hospital and EMT’s from the Missoula Rural Fire Department.
Maricelli said deputies receive basic first aid instruction in the Montana Law Enforcement Academy, but are offered optional training throughout their careers at the sheriff’s office.
“Over the course of the year there is various training that they receive, but this is was something internally that one of our special response team members who are civilian doctors put on, so we’re trying to incorporate that in our annual training,” he said. “In this particular case they were ready to do what was needed, and according to those two medical agencies, without any doubt that they positively saved two additional lives.”
The 17 year-old driving the Ford Ranger pickup that lost control and struck the motor home was treated and released from Community Medical Center.
The Montana Highway Patrol is investigating as to whether alcohol, drugs or excessive speed may have contributed to the fatal crash.
The crash slowed traffic on both east and westbound lanes of Interstate 90 for several hours.