Medical emergency might have caused fatal Libby crash

Print Article

Taylor Ray Alford, 31, of Missoula was killed 5:07 p.m. Thursday after crashing into a light post at Highway 2 and Idaho Avenue in Libby. Investigators are looking into whether a medical emergency was the cause. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

Montana Highway Patrol is investigating whether a medical emergency contributed to a high-speed crash that killed a Missoula man in downtown Libby Thursday evening.

Drugs or alcohol were not considered factors Friday, pending toxicology results from the Montana State Crime Lab, according to MHP Capt. Duane K. Bowers.

Taylor Ray Alford, 31, was killed 5:07 p.m. Thursday when his car crashed into an overhead traffic light post at the intersection of Highway 2 and Idaho Avenue in Libby.

Moments before, Alford reportedly had accelerated to about 100 mph in the 25-mph zone in front of Rosauers before crossing into the opposite lanes of traffic and then swerving to the right across all four lanes before striking the light post and catching fire, wrote Bowers in a Friday morning news release.

“We are very fortunate that no additional vehicles, pedestrians or motorists were involved in this incident, especially considering the volume of traffic on the roadway at that time,” he wrote.

Bowers provided a timeline of the moments leading up to the crash.

MHP Sgt. Neil Duram and Trooper Bryce Ford were taking measurements at the scene of a car vs. person crash that killed a Libby man earlier Thursday on Highway 2 near milepost 21, when several passing motorists told them a possibly intoxicated driver had just driven through the crash scene.

Witnesses told the Troopers that the black car — a Volkswagen Jetta — had been traveling east from Troy at a high rate of speed, crossing both lanes of traffic and running other motorists off the road.

Duram and Ford returned to their cars and drove east toward Libby. About the same time, Libby Police Sgt. Darren Short and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Boyd White drove west from Libby to try to find and stop the car.

Duram and Ford caught up to the car as it entered the four-lane, 50-mph zone west of Libby, yet the car failed to stop. It continued speeding east, weaving through traffic as it approached downtown.

Short and White pulled in behind the Jetta as it passed them, yet it still didn’t yield to their lights and sirens.

The car then accelerated in front of Rosauers before crashing and catching fire.

“The fire was quickly extinguished by law enforcement officers on the scene and several local business owners who quickly responded with fire extinguishers and assisted in the fire suppression effort,” Bowers wrote.

Alford was wearing a seatbelt, but Bowers wrote at the speed he was driving it “would have no positive effect.”

The crash was still being investigated Friday, Bowers wrote.

Print Article

Read More Breaking News

Libby man stable following Sunday afternoon stabbing

November 12, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Western News A Libby man in his seventies was in stable condition Monday after being stabbed multiple times Sunday late afternoon while out for a walk. His suspected attacker was arrested shortly thereafter. Do...

Comments

Read More

Sarah Carpenter gets life without parole for Jan. 2017 murder of Travis Gillett

October 15, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Western News Sarah Carpenter was sentenced in Montana 19th Judicial District Court Monday to life without eligibility for parole for the homicide of Travis Gillett in January 2017. She was also given 10 years wi...

Comments

Read More

Officials investigating threat left in Libby Middle/High School boys room

October 07, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News Law enforcement and school officials since Thursday have been investigating a threatening message written in a Libby Middle/High School boys room stall. They have “a good idea” who might have left t...

Comments

Read More

Prosecution witness Ezra Skinner sentenced to 10 years, no parole in Yaak murder

August 20, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Western News Editor's note: Story was updated Aug. 22 to correct an error that referred to Skinner as Gillett. Ezra Skinner was sentenced in Montana 19th Judicial District Court Monday to 10 years without parol...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 293-4124
311 California Ave.
Libby, MT 59923

©2018 The Western News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X