April 30 Montana News Briefs

Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Officials ID Havre man who died during police pursuit

HAVRE (AP) — Officials in north-central Montana have released the name of a 26-year-old Havre man who died in a two-vehicle crash as police pursued a Hyundai Sonata that had been reported stolen. Hill County Sheriff Jamie Ross says Wendall V. Howard died early Sunday when the Sonata collided with a sport utility vehicle. His passenger and the driver over the SUV were injured. KOJM-AM reported the Sonata had been reported stolen from Rocky Boy. Havre police spotted the vehicle and pursued it eastbound on U.S. Highway 2, but ended the pursuit after losing sight of the car. Minutes later, an officer spotted the car speeding into Havre from the east just. It collided with a sport utility vehicle at a Havre intersection just after 4 a.m. Sunday.

Bond increased to $500,000 for suspect in vehicular homicide

KALISPELL (AP) — A Montana judge has set a $500,000 bond for a 31-year-old man accused of crashing his pickup into a house, killing a 15-year-old girl. The Daily Inter Lake reports that Jared Parsons of Kalispell is being held at the Flathead County Detention Center on a felony charge of vehicular homicide while under the influence. Bond initially was set at $200,000, but Flathead County Justice of the Peace Eric Hummel increased it Monday. According to police, Parsons was driving his Dodge Ram vehicle in Evergreen on Friday around 2 a.m. when he veered off the road and then crashed into a home. The impact killed Erin Howk while she was asleep in her bed. Parsons’ next court appearance is set for May 23 before District Court Judge Amy Eddy.

School bus crash sends 2 students to hospital

BILLINGS (AP) — Two students in Montana were taken to a hospital with minor injuries after a school bus was rear-ended. The Billings Gazette reports that Billings police said Monday in a social media post that the bus was coming to a stop with its lights flashing, when a white pickup truck driven by a 44-year-old Billings resident rear ended it. The bus was transporting students from Skyview High School. The white pickup truck sustained a crumpled front end, and its airbags deployed. The bottom window of the bus’ emergency exit door was broken out and the bus’ back bumper appeared to the off-kilter. Students were moved to a different bus to be delivered to their stops. Authorities suspect alcohol to be a factor in the crash.

BNSF ordered to pay $1M more in wrongful termination lawsuit

KALISPELL (AP) — A federal judge has ordered BNSF Railway to pay an additional $1 million after reaffirming a $2.1 million jury award in a Montana man’s wrongful termination lawsuit. The Flathead Beacon reports Judge Dana Christensen last week denied BNSF’s motion for a new trial and ordered the railway to pay Zachary Wooten’s attorneys’ fees and other court costs. The Columbia Falls man sued BNSF claiming it violated federal law protecting whistleblowers and people injured on the job after he suffered severe injuries to his wrist and arm in the Whitefish rail yard in July 2015. A federal jury awarded Wooten for lost wages, pain and suffering and punitive damages in November 2018. A company spokesperson did not immediately provide comment to the newspaper.

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