Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On April 14, 2023, at approximately 7:36 p.m., Missoula Police Department Officers were dispatched to a report of a driver striking multiple cars throughout the city.

As officers responded to the respective crashes, they were further informed that the driver of the suspect vehicle had crashed on Highway 93, in the area by Blue Mountain Road. The driver was identified as 21-year-old Demar Pugh. Multiple MPD officers and Montana Highway Patrol troopers responded. 

First Caller Provides a Statement 

An officer made contact with one of the several 911 callers who stated he was traveling west on 39th street, approaching Russell Street, when he noticed Pugh traveling at a high rate of speed behind him. The caller estimated Pugh was traveling approximately 60 mph and stated Pugh nearly struck the rear of his vehicle. 

The caller said Pugh sped off and utilized the center lane to pass approximately 15 vehicles and travel through intersections. The caller stated he believed Pugh could have killed five people in front of him. At one point, Pugh hit his brakes so hard that he left a skid mark on the road for approximately 20-30 feet. 

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Second Caller Provides a Statement 

Another officer spoke with another 911 caller who stated that he felt that Pugh was intentionally coming after him. The caller said he was walking through the intersection of South Avenue and Cinnabar and heard the sound of screeching tires headed in his direction. The caller reported that Pugh was traveling at a high rate of speed, made a sharp turn, and pointed his vehicle in his direction.  

The caller stated he was close enough to Pugh to lock eyes with him. The caller reported that Pugh appeared angry and did not seem panicked that he may strike a pedestrian. Pugh then drove over the curb and on to the grass where the caller was walking. The caller reported that there were visible tread marks showing the path of travel and stated he had to run eastbound to avoid being hit. The caller said Pugh’s vehicle came within 2-3 feet of striking him before losing speed and returning to the roadway.  

Third Caller Provides a Statement 

Another officer spoke with another caller who reported that she had been struck in her vehicle by Pugh’s vehicle. The caller stated she was driving north on Arthur Avenue when Pugh swerved across the median line and into oncoming traffic.

The caller stated she pulled over to avoid being hit head-on by Pugh. The caller stated after Pugh passed her, she waited a few minutes before she felt safe to drive again. As she began to drive, she again encountered Pugh, near the intersection of Higgins and South. The caller again attempted to pull over to avoid Pugh, but he rear-ended her vehicle. 

Fourth Caller Provides a Statement 

An officer spoke with an additional caller who reported that she had been hit by Pugh while she was stopped at the intersection of Brooks and Higgins. The caller reported hearing the sound of tires squealing before she was rear-ended by Pugh’s vehicle. 

Officers Locate Pugh 

An officer responded to the area where it was reported that Pugh had crashed. The officer observed Pugh’s blue Dodge Durango off of the side of the road and he could tell the vehicle was again trying to enter the roadway. The officer also saw three people running from where the vehicle was in an effort to not be run over. 

The officer made contact with Pugh and commanded him to exit the vehicle. Pugh had difficulty walking without stumbling, had a dazed look on his face, and his eyes were watery and bloodshot. The officer also observed multiple beer cans in Pugh’s vehicle. The officer requested that Pugh be evaluated by medical and it was determined that Pugh would need to be transported for further evaluation.  

The officer responded to St. Patrick Hospital to speak with Pugh. According to the officer, Pugh did not know he was in Missoula and believed he was in Billings. The officer said Pugh continued to make jokes while being evaluated and did not appear to care or appreciate the gravity of the situation he was in. The officer read Pugh his Miranda rights, to which he confirmed he understood. Pugh admitted to consuming alcohol, but could not recall how much.  

Pugh is currently being charged with four counts of felony criminal endangerment, DUI first offense, and failure to give notice by quickest means of an accident. On April 18, 2023, Pugh made his initial appearance in Missoula Justice Court and his bond was set at $250,000. 

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

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