September 14, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
Beverly Joyce Flodberg who had commuted to Seeley Lake from Missoula for many years was killed on that commute in a bizarre five-vehicle pileup on Highway 200 last Friday in a dust storm.
Investigating Highway Patrol Officer Shane Grimes said Tuesday "...we're still in the stage of talking to witnesses and gathering statements."
Grimes said visibility was near zero around 4 p.m. last Friday, Sept. 8, when a dust storm churned up on neighboring fields rolled across Highway 200 near the Greenough Volunteer Fire Department.
Flodberg, 65, was commuting to her waitressing job at The Filling Station in Seeley Lake where she had worked for many years.
In the reduced visibility, the pickup she was driving rear-ended a Rimrock Stage Bus, also traveling east on Highway 200. Grimes said the bus continued on a ways before stopping, but Flodberg got out of her car to talk to a passer-by who was on his way to Great Falls and had pulled over to help.
What happened after that is what investigators are still trying to piece together, but Grimes confirmed the following sequence of events: a car driven by Lloyd Kurth, 71, of Seeley Lake ran into the back of Flodberg's pickup in the reduced visibility, then veered into the westbound lane where it collided with a University of Montana minivan driven by Michael Murphy, and the minivan was then rear-ended by Richard Lovell, 51, of Stevensville driving a Ford pickup.
Flodberg was struck and killed on the highway during the pileup. The other drivers and passengers in some vehicles were treated at St. Patrick Hospital, where Flodberg was pronounced dead on arrival.
A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Thursday, Sept. 14, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Missoula.
In Seeley Lake, a special memorial mass will be held Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Living Water Catholic Church.