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Three people die in fiery crash near Creston

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | March 10, 2021 2:00 AM

Three people died in a fiery head-on collision on Montana 35 in the Creston area.

On March 6, Montana Highway Patrol was dispatched to the scene of Montana 35 and Indian Ridge Road at 10:57 p.m. Saturday where a 28-year-old Kalispell man, a 42-year-old Dayton woman and one of her passengers, a female, whose age and residence are unknown at this time, were pronounced dead. An injured 14-year-old Dayton girl, who was also one of the woman’s passengers, was transported to Kalispell Regional Medical Center where she is listed in stable condition.

The deceased were later identified as Abigail Johnson a 14-year-old female, her mother, Melodi Johnson a 42-year-old female both from the Dayton area, and 28-year-old male Kevin Hunt from Kalispell who was the single occupant of the pickup, according to a release from the Flathead County Sheriff's Office.

According to Montana Highway Patrol, the Kalispell man was driving a 2005 GMC Sierra 2500 northbound on Montana 35 when it crossed the centerline for an unknown reason into the southbound lane, hitting a 2016 Dodge Caravan being driven by the Dayton woman, head-on. The GMC caught fire after the crash and became engulfed in flames. The Dodge came to a rest in the center of the roadway, facing south.

It was unknown if the Kalispell man was wearing his seat belt, according to troopers. The Dayton woman and her two passengers were wearing their seat belts.

Road conditions were dry. Speed is a suspected factor in the crash.

There have been 39 traffic fatalities on Montana highways in 2021.