By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
A vehicle crash Sunday night left an 11-year-old Havre boy dead and his 12-year-old brother in the hospital.
Luke Blackwell died of injuries suffered during a single-vehicle wreck north of Zurich, the Montana Highway Patrol said today. His brother, Beau Blackwell, 12, was seriously injured. The older brother remains in Northern Montana Hospital in stable condition, the hospital said today.
The wreck occurred about 4:45 p.m. Sunday on a Blaine County road about 17 miles north of Zurich, a spokesman for the Highway Patrol in Helena said. The brothers were passengers in a 1972 Ford pickup driven by a 15-year-old boy whom the patrol did not identify.
The accident is still under investigation, Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Bosch said today.
The 15-year-old was also injured in the wreck and taken to the hospital, the patrol said. His condition was not immediately available.
Luke Blackwell was a student at Sunnyside Intermediate School where he recently finished fifth grade. He would have joined his older brother at Havre Middle School in the fall. Beau will be a seventh-grader next year.
Havre Middle School Principal Vance Blatter said the school may have a memorial for Luke next fall.
"We'll look at some kind of memorial," he said. "We've done things in the past for students we've lost."
The boys' parents, Mike and Loreena Blackwell of Havre, could not be reached for comment this morning.
Both boys were carriers for the Havre Daily News.
"They were very nice kids," district circulation director Tom Mowen said today. "I've had very few problems with those kids. They were like my own."
Luke began working for the Havre Daily News in April of last year. Beau joined his younger brother delivering papers in July. Luke's delivery route was on Fifth and Sixth avenues from Seventh to Ninth streets. Beau delivers on Seventh to Ninth avenues from Eighth to 10th streets.
Luke recently gave his customers three months of complaint-free service, Mowen said.
"For a young person that is good," he said.
Luke Blackwell was the seventh person to die on Montana's roadways over the weekend. The state highway fatality toll is now 85, eight more than on the same date a year ago, the Montana Highway Patrol reported today. The other fatal collisions occured in Charlo, Billings and Poplar.