Two Polson residents died of separate cardiac events involving a traffic crash Tuesday afternoon.
According to information from Lake County Sheriff Don Bell, 76-year-old Mervin Payne was driving a vehicle south on U.S. 93 at about 1 p.m. when he had a heart attack, likely causing him to drive across both southbound and northbound lanes, through a field, over an embankment, and then ultimately into the back of the Murdoch’s store. A passenger in the vehicle, 57-year-old Crystal Anderson, also had a heart attack.
Despite live-saving attempts by members of the Polson Police Department and EMS, Payne, who was unresponsive, died at the scene.
Anderson was taken to a local hospital where she died a short time later.
Neither Payne nor Anderson suffered injuries from the crash that would have caused their death.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Coroner conducted an investigation in consultation with Montana Highway Patrol and the Montana state medical examiner.
Bell thanked the staff at Murdoch’s of Polson for caring for a dog that was involved in the crash, while responders tended to the victims at the scene, and Lifesaver’s animal rescue, which is facilitating care and transportation of the dog to the owner’s next of kin, who live out of state.