(UPDATE, 7:35 p.m.) Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Robert Strauch says the truck driver was "choking on water" when he careened across the highway and into the lot.
The MHP says the semi-truck was eastbound on I-90 near Reserve Street when the driver went off the left side of the road, crossed the median, and went westbound on I-90.
The truck crashed into a Ford SUV that was traveling west on I-90, then drove through a fence and crashed into two storage containers and two parked vehicles between Cracker Barrel and My Place hotel.
One man at the scene said he was sitting in his car in the lot when it happened and sprung into action. A trucker himself, witness John Wilke said he climbed into the big rig and saved the driver.
"He said he pretty much was having a coughing fit and his eyes got really watery. He was going eastbound and had a coughing fit," Wilke explained. "Next thing he knows he is going off between the two highways. It takes three football fields to stop fully loaded on one of those trucks and there's no way in hell he was going to stop."
The trucker was issued a citation for careless driving.
(UPDATE: 2:10 p.m.) A witness who pulled the semi driver out of the truck told our reporter that the driver was eastbound on I-90 near the Reserve Street exit when the driver started coughing.
The driver reportedly said he lost control and the semi went across the westbound lanes, and then crashed through several storage containers and a few vehicles between the My Place Hotel and the Cracker Barrel restaurant.
John Wilke - who is also a truck driver - describes what he saw:
Numerous agencies responded to the crash including the Missoula Fire Department which stated in a social media post that no fatalities are being reported at this time.
MFD also notes all lanes of I-90 are open to traffic.
(1st REPORT, 2 p.m.) A crash was reported just before 1:30 p.m. Thursday involving a semi-truck and passenger car on Interstate 90 near the Reserve Street exit.
Both vehicles landed in the Cracker Barrel parking lot along I-90.
There is no word at this point on whether anyone has been seriously.
We will update you as we get more information.
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