Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On October 15, 2023, at approximately 6:09 p.m., a Missoula Police Department officer was dispatched to a report of a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Oxford Avenue and West Central Avenue. Dispatch advised that the vehicles involved were a blue Kia and a white Dodge van.  

When the officer arrived, he observed the Kia parked on the westside of Oxford Avenue. The officer also observed vehicle parts on the roadway. The officer contacted the driver of the Kia who said he was exiting the Tremper’s shopping center when the collision occurred.  

He further stated that he was looking to his right and was preparing to turn south onto Oxford Avenue when he was struck by another vehicle, but he stated he did not really know what happened. The officer observed damage to the front driver's side of the vehicle. 

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The Dodge van was parked in the Tremper’s center parking lot a short distance away with a male inside. The driver of the Kia confirmed that when the collision occurred, the driver of the van was a female wearing red. 

The officer began approaching the van and contacted the male, who he immediately recognized due to prior law enforcement contacts. The male pointed to the female, later identified as 44-year-old Karmen Prieto, who was talking on a cell phone. The officer also noticed Prieto was wearing red.  

Prieto stated she was driving southbound on Oxford Avenue when she was struck by the Kia. The officer observed damage to the rear passenger side of Prieto’s vehicle, which appeared consistent with her statements. Prieto said that she did not have insurance on her vehicle. The officer also learned that Prieto’s driver’s license status was suspended out of the State of Oregon. 

While speaking with Prieto, the officer detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from her person. The officer asked Prieto how much she had to drink, and she eventually admitted to drinking wine earlier. During Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, Prieto exhibited 12 out of 18 indicators of impairment. Prieto also provided a breath sample with results greater than .08 BrAC. 

Prieto is currently being charged with felony DUI, operating without liability insurance, and driving with a suspended license. According to court documents, Prieto has at least three previous DUI convictions. 

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable. 

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