Missoula Drunk Driver Flees Crash Scene and Goes to a Bar
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On August 7, 2023, Montana Highway Patrol troopers were dispatched to a single-vehicle crash near mile marker 82 on Interstate 90. Dispatch advised the vehicle was up against a fence and a male was inside. While responding to the crash, dispatched updated troopers that the vehicle was leaving the scene and headed east in the westbound lane on I-90.
A trooper arrived at the scene of the crash and a male told him that the driver took off the wrong way in the westbound lane. The male further reported that when he knocked on the window the driver appeared to be “drunk”.
The trooper got back on the interstate and eventually located the suspect vehicle at Larry’s Six Mile Bar and Grill. The trooper approached the vehicle and observed several scratches to the passenger side with pine needles and sticks on the windshield and hood, consistent with his observations at the crash site. The trooper also found a beer bottle behind the back driver’s side tire.
The Trooper Enters the Bar
The trooper contacted the bar manager who reported that the only patron that arrived recently was a male, later identified as 57-year-old Timothy Moss. The trooper observed a bottle of beer in front of Moss, but noticed he had only taken a few sips from it. The trooper asked Moss if he knew anything about the truck in the parking lot. Moss said he had no idea what the trooper was talking about and said the vehicle was not his.
The trooper asked Moss to provide his name and Moss responded TC Owens. The trooper requested Moss's license and determined Moss lied about his name. While Moss pulled out his wallet, the trooper also observed a key in Moss's hand that appeared to be for a Dodge Ram truck. The trooper asked for the keys, which Moss gave to the trooper. The trooper hit the unlock button on the key fob and observed that the keys were in fact the keys to the truck involved in the crash.
While speaking to Moss, the trooper observed that Moss had a dazed expression, bloodshot and watery eyes, and smelled very strongly of alcohol. The trooper told Moss that he would conduct SFST’s, but Moss refused to do the tests. The trooper asked dispatch to run Moss’s name. Moss had two failure to appear warrants on DUIs and his driving status was “revoked HTO”.
Moss is Placed Under Arrest for DUI
The trooper then placed Moss under arrest and read the PAST and implied consent advisories, but Moss refused. The trooper applied for and was granted a search warrant for Moss’s blood. Moss was transported to St. Patrick’s Hospital where a blood draw was taken.
Dispatch also received a call about the wrong way driver from a female. She advised that she was forced to the right shoulder to avoid a head-on collision with the truck. The trooper also spoke to two individuals that work for the Frenchtown Fire Department and they arrived at the scene of the crash before law enforcement. They said that the truck also nearly struck the fire engine head on.
Court documents indicate Moss has three prior convictions for DUI with the most recent one occurring in June. Moss is currently being charged with felony DUI, felony criminal endangerment, habitual traffic offender, and obstructing a peace officer.
On August 9, 2023, Moss made his initial appearance in Missoula Justice Court and his bond was set at $50,000.
The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.