According to the Missoulian, three people died in a head-on collision on U.S. Highway 10 near the Missoula International Airport on Saturday.
Driver Had History of Reckless Driving
Andrew Depuydt, 65, and Suzanne Depuydt, 57, traveled eastbound on Highway 10 when the accident occurred. Ryan Smith, 34, traveled west on Highway 10, and according to the Missoulian, Smith crossed every lane of traffic before crashing head-on with the Depuydt’s vehicle..
Andrew and Suzanne Depuydt and Ryan Smith all suffered blunt force trauma and died as a result of the crash. Officials believe Smith was intoxicated and traveling at a high speed at the time of the wreck.
According to the Missoulian, Smith was on a deferred sentence for assaulting sheriff’s deputies last year. In October 2015, Smith attacked officers with a two-foot-long piece of wood after resisting arrest. Police found a marijuana pipe on him during a search. In February, Smith and prosecutors agreed to a three-year deferred sentence as long as he submitted tests for alcohol and drug use.
Smith also had convictions in 2015 and earlier this year for driving with a suspended or revoked license, driving without insurance, and reckless driving, reports the Missoulian.
Impaired Driving Accident Statistics
The following information is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- In 2014, 9,967 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving wrecks.
- An average of 1 alcohol-impaired-driving fatality occurs every 53 minutes.
- Alcohol-impaired-driving crashes accounted for 31 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States in 2014.
- Of the 9,967 people killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, 6,391 were drivers with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher.