Support Local Journalism


A 17-year-old from Bozeman died in a crash east of the city on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Montana Highway Patrol.

The driver missed a right-hand turn while driving south on Fort Ellis Road. He went off the left side of the roadway and the BMW X5 he was driving collided with a bridge support pier underneath Interstate 90 and caught fire at about 6:13 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

The boy was pronounced dead at the scene. His name and any other identifying information has not yet been released by law enforcement. No other vehicles were involved and no other people were injured.

“This is a tragedy that has affected not only this family, but it has affected the community,” said MHP Sgt. and spokesperson Jay Nelson. “This is a child that a lot of people knew … our hearts go out to the family that has to handle a tragedy like this.”

MHP suspects speed to be the cause of the crash and does not suspect that the driver was under the influence. MHP’s investigation suggests that the vehicle missed the right turn and continued straight, driving off of the roadway and into the support pier, Nelson said.

Nelson said the crash was first reported to MHP as a fire. The smoke from the fire impacted visibility on the interstate above it, but the interstate was not otherwise affected by the crash. Fort Ellis Road was closed for several hours, Nelson said, but is now open.

Fort Ellis Road is just east of Bozeman. It crosses underneath the interstate and over Bozeman Trail Road south of the interstate and Frontage Road north of the interstate.

The Gallatin County Coroner’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

Support Local Journalism

To see what else is happening in Gallatin County subscribe to the online paper.

Melissa Loveridge can be reached at or at (406) 582-2651.

Support quality local journalism. Become a subscriber.

Subscribers get full, survey-free access to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's award-winning coverage both on our website and in our e-edition, a digital replica of the print edition.