Investigators probe crash
Early Sunday morning accident killed one,
CORVALLIS - Monday afternoon, the Montana Highway
Patrol had concluded its reconstruction of the fatal
accident when Ashley Irby and Shalae Davis showed up
to leave flowers at the base of the tree for their
"I hope and pray it opens up one person's eyes.
That's the only good thing that can come out of
this," Irby said.
Killed in the early Sunday morning accident was Bo
Lewis Storms, 24, of Conner.
Irby had been asked Saturday night to be the sixth
passenger in the truck that crashed, killing Storms
and seriously injuring three others. Investigators
have not released the names of any of the injured
nor have they said who was driving the truck.
no. I've learned to take my own car," Irby said. "I
was the only one who said no that night."
Irby and Davis graduated from Corvallis High School
All three of the injured young men remain
hospitalized in critical to serious conditions. In
total, six people were hurt.
At the base of the tree was the poplar's bark that
had been sheared off by the blunt force of the
accident. Among the bark were bouquets of flowers
left by friends and empty and full beer cans.
Troopers believe alcohol and excessive speed were
factors in the fatal crash.
"What they need to do is take the truck and park it
at the Hamilton High School to show people what can
happen," Irby said.
Davis said she was heart broken and sickened by what
Irby had recently left the hospital in Missoula
where she had been visiting the victims and was
hopeful for everyone's recovery.
"It's amazing what prayer and surgery can do for
someone," Irby said.
Accident investigator Scott Bennett was at the crash
site. He said they would be able to determine
exactly how fast the driver was going when he hit
the tree once data from the accident site had been
had been put into their reconstruction computer
"I can tell you they were going well in excess of
the speed limit," he said.
The lead trooper on the crash, Lath Keith, said both
vehicles were traveling westbound on Willow Creek
Road around 12:30 Sunday morning.
Because of conflicting statements and the
unavailability of the people in the hospital, the
investigation is proceeding slowly.
"It is going to take some time on this accident,"
Six people were injured in the two vehicles that
were involved in the accident. The car was a 1997
Hyundai Accent and the other vehicle was a late
model, full size GMC crew cab truck.
Reporter Timothy Mitchell can be reached at 363-3300