Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Montana woman killed in vehicle accident

Authorities unable to locate any relatives


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

A 55-year-old Butte, Mont., woman was killed in a single-vehicle accident northeast of Carey early Sunday morning. Her husband, 77, was in critical condition Tuesday at an Idaho Falls hospital.

Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling withheld release of the victims' names because, as of Tuesday, authorities here, in Montana and in Idaho Falls had been unable to locate any relatives of the couple.

Femling said the accident occurred sometime early Sunday morning on U.S. Highway 93 about 12 miles northeast of Carey. He said the husband was driving a 1989 Dodge pickup that left the roadway at a curve, rolled onto its side, jumped a small ravine, hit a rock wall and came to rest in a lava crater.

"It appears to us that he fell asleep," Femling said. "There were no skid marks. We don't even know what time the accident happened, but we suspect it happened sometime in the early morning. We didn't get a call on it until about 7 a.m."

Femling said the woman was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, while the husband was transported by helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. Femling said the man's condition was "extremely critical."

Both victims had to be extricated from the vehicle by the Carey Quick Response Unit, he said.

Femling said that, despite extensive efforts, his office, Butte authorities and hospital staff had been unable to locate any relatives of the couple. Butte police entered the couple's home on Monday to care for pets left inside, he said.

"We still have not found any family members," Femling said. "We've desperately tried all leads. The neighbors don't know them. We've heard that there may be a son, so hopefully we can find him."




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