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Montana prisoner dies in excavator accident

by Associated Press
| August 12, 2021 3:30 PM

HELENA (AP) — A man incarcerated at the Montana State Prison inmate died in an accident while working at the prison ranch in Deer Lodge, the Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday.

Donald Welborn Jr., 55, was operating an excavator on Wednesday when he became pinned underneath it, department spokesperson Carolynn Bright said. He died at the scene.

Welborn, of Lima, was serving time for felony vehicular homicide while under the influence of methamphetamine.

He pleaded guilty in 2016 for the October 2015 death of 32-year-old Mary Merino, who was struck and killed by a vehicle as she walked along Interstate 15 north of Dillon.

Merino had struck a guardrail with her car and drove it for a ways before getting out and walking, the Montana Highway Patrol said at the time.