"There was nothing you could have done to avoid it."

Comforting words? Maybe yes, maybe no. Either way, that assessment from an investigating officer certainly didn't lessen the impact or the shock of being in a head-on collision. Fortunately, both drivers lived. And one of them has a keepsake in the form of video footage as it happened.

Ron Williamson of Missoula services and repairs hot tubs and spas in western Montana. Over many years, his outstanding work has gained him a large, loyal customer base. That also means a lot of travel to customers' residences in out of the Missoula area.

Montana Highway 83 features some spectacular scenery on its 91-mile run between Bigfork and the Highway 200 (Clearwater) junction. It also can be fraught with peril during the winter months, where high elevations, twists and turns and an often narrow roadway can mean the slimmest of margins between safety and danger.

It was on Highway 83 somewhere between Seeley Lake and Condon that Ron was in his truck doing service calls on a January day. Snow was falling. Driving conditions were deteriorating. Ron was encountering light traffic going the opposite direction, but everyone seemed to be approaching in a safe, appropriate manner.

And his dash cam was in operation.

As you can see by the video, there was no time to react. Ron braced for the impact of an oncoming vehicle that had lost control, driving too fast for the conditions, the investigating officers said, and was suddenly in his lane.

Ron told us that all things considered, the injuries both drivers sustained were minor, given what could have happened. He reflects on the "second chance" he was given, that he still has a loving family to come home to, a rewarding career and so much to look forward to.

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LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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