Travelers on I – 90 west were faced with a three mile long traffic jam around noon today, February 3, after an eight vehicle pile-up began on a bridge crossing the Clark Fork River about three miles west of Tarkio.

"One vehicle lost control as it crossed the Clark Fork River on a bridge, so there's no shoulders, no avenue of escape," said Montana Highway Patrol Sergent Roman Zylawy. "Two cars collided, then a third car collided with them. A fourth car slowed down to avoid the wreck and, in breaking in the white out conditions, it lost control and slammed into the bridge railings as well."

After that, a semi truck slid to a stop blocking both lanes before yet another semi truck slid into the pile-up.

"The second semi rear-ended the first semi then deflected off and crashed into a Jeep Cherokee which, luckily, was unoccupied because they had gotten out quickly and left before they were crunched inside their vehicle," Zylwaly said. "Then, subsequent to that, a state DNRC truck rear ended a pickup truck that had stopped for the same crash."

Both lanes of I-90 west were blocked for about three hours until tow trucks removed the eight vehicles involved in the crash at around 2:30 p.m. Although one individual was taken to the hospital, Zylawy says there were only minor injuries.


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