MISSOULA, Mont. - A truck driver received his million-mile safe driving award in a hospital after getting injured in a crash.
Raymond Mattes, 53, of Post Falls, Idaho, was en route from Washington state to Ohio with a load of frozen french fries and planned to stop in Missoula on Saturday to pick up his award from Jim Palmer Trucking.
Before he could reach the company's yard, a sport utility vehicle skidded into the path of his tractor-trailer on Interstate 90 outside of town.
Mattes avoided hitting the vehicle by driving off the road and slamming into an embankment, the 18-year trucker said Wednesday before his release from St. Patrick Hospital, where he was treated for crushed vertebrae.
The SUV driver was seriously hurt, and two fellow University of Montana students were also injured, one critically. The Highway Patrol said the SUV driver was going too fast on the slushy road.