BILLINGS — (UPDATE 5 pm) - Slick roads caused by a snow flurry were a contributing factor in a pile-up crash involving at least 30 vehicles that closed Interstate 90 in Billings for about four hours Saturday, according to Sgt. Kyle Hayter with Montana Highway Patrol.
Montana Highway Patrol troopers are still investigating which vehicles lost control first and started the pile-up. Multiple injuries were reported, but there were no fatalities as a result of the crash.
The accident happened on the I-90 Bridge over the Yellowstone River about a mile west of Exit 452 to Lockwood around noon.
Two people first involved in the crash were knocked off of the Yellowstone River bridge by oncoming vehicles that crashed into the pile-up. According to a social media post from Montana Highway Patrol, the people who were knocked off were seriously injured, but were expected to make full recoveries.
While at the scene, Yellowstone County Sheriff Sgt. Harrison Gillen said members of the Billings and Lockwood fire departments extracted people from vehicles using the Jaws of Life.
A bus from Billings Logan International Airport transported multiple people with minor injuries to MetraPark, Hayter said.
Both directions of I-90 were closed while first responders cleared the scene. The interstate was closed at Exit 450 to 27th street to the west and at Exit 455 to Johnson Lane to the east. Traffic was flowing again around 4:45 p.m.
Hayter said there were many smaller crashes on the interstate from people coming to a stop for the pile-up.
The responding agencies include: Yellowstone County Disaster and Emergency Services, Yellowstone County Sheriff's, Montana Highway Patrol, Billings police and fire departments, Lockwood Fire Department and American Medical response.
MHP is asking anyone who was involved in the crash to email Hayter with their contact info and vehicle description so troopers can take people's statements and further investigate the cause of the crash. Hayter can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
(UPDATE, 1:23 pm) - Officers at the scene said about 30 to 40 vehicles are involved. The interstate is likely to be closed for a few hours while Montana Highway Patrol troopers investigate the crash.
There have been no fatalities reported, but there are people with serious and minor injuries.
(1st REPORT) Emergency crews are at the scene of a massive pile-up of vehicles along I-90 in Billings.
The Montana Highway Patrol says that westbound I-90 is closed starting at the I-94 split near Johnson Lane.
The MHP asks that people avoid the area from mile marker 450 to mile marker 455.
At this point, there is no word on whether there have been any serious injuries, nor what triggered the pile-up.
We will update you when we get more details.