A 23-year-old man who’s facing multiple charges for a fatal crash that killed a Kalispell mother and daughter has pleaded not guilty. The Minnesota man, who is currently in jail in Flathead County on $500,000 bond, appeared in court earlier this month. He is accused of vehicular homicide while being under the influence of alcohol.
According to the Montana Highway Patrol, the man was driving northbound on Montana Highway 35 in July when he moved into the southbound lane. He crashed head-on into the vehicle carrying the two women. According to a local television report, they both died at the scene. The Minnesota man was taken to the hospital.
According to court documents, emergency personnel who responded to the crash reported that they could smell alcohol on the young man. A blood sample was taken at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. The Montana State Crime Lab determined that he had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .136.
The man’s next court date isn’t until next year. If he’s convicted on the two vehicular homicide counts, he could spend up to 60 years behind bars and have to pay a $100,000 fine.
Of course, when drunk drivers who cause injuries and deaths face criminal charges, this can bring some sense of justice to victims and surviving family members of those killed. However, these victims and loved ones left behind may be facing significant medical bills, burial expenses and the loss of needed income.
That’s why, regardless of what criminal charges an at-fault driver faces or is convicted of, they may be held liable in civil court. An experienced attorney can help you do that.