MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Preliminary data indicates the number of traffic fatalities on Montana roads last year was the lowest it's been in nearly 70 years.
The Missoulian reports that a report released Monday by the Montana Highway Patrol said 181 people died last year in traffic crashes. That was the same number recorded in 1989, the state's centennial year.
Before that, the annual toll hadn't dipped so low since 1949, when 162 fatalities were recorded. It jumped to 202 the following year and remained above 200 in all but nine years since. The death count peaked at 395 in 1972.
The report presents statistics confirmed through October and "suspected" for the final two months of 2018. A final annual report will be released in the spring.

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