Warrants Issued for Woman Accused of Fatal DUI Crash near Lolo
34 year-old Megan Christine Beard was arrested on Friday on several charges stemming from a fatal three vehicle crash that occurred on Highway 93 South between Missoula and Lolo on February 15.
Deputy County Attorney Mac Bloom provided details of the warrants.
“It is a really tragic situation,” began Bloom. “Charges have been filed against Megan Beard. There are five offenses that are listed in the charging documents. The primary offense is vehicular homicide while under the influence. Unfortunately, Ms. Beard was driving on Highway 93 and lost control of her vehicle while she was under the influence and the crash that followed resulted in the death of a 10 year old boy.”
Bloom delineated the other charges filed against Beard.
“She's also charged with negligent vehicular assault, two counts of child criminal endangerment and one count of criminal endangerment for putting other people's lives at risk with her intoxicated driving,” he said.
Court documents indicate that ‘as Beard entered a left curve, she lost control of the Mazda minivan and crossed the center line and drove into oncoming traffic. Beard was not wearing her seat belt and was ejected. John Doe (10 years old) died from injuries sustained during the crash. The other two children sustained minor chest injuries from their seat belts. Beard was seriously injured and was transported to St. Patrick Hospital and then Spokane for treatment.’
Court documents also state that ‘the results of Beard’s blood test established that her BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) was .221 GM/100ML. MHP Trooper Whitlatch noted that this is nearly three times the per se limit of .08.’
Bloom outlined the possible penalties if Beard is found guilty on all charges.
“The vehicular homicide while under the influence charge is punishable by 30 years in the Montana State Prison,” he said. “The negligent vehicular assault charge carries a 10 year term in the state prison, and child criminal endangerment is also 10 years, and there are two counts of child criminal endangerment. In addition, the criminal endangerment is also 10 years, so that would be a grand total of 70 years as the maximum possible penalty.”
Beard will appear in Missoula District Court for arraignment. She is currently in the Missoula County Jail on $250,000 bond.
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