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Suspect, victim ID'd in wrong way fatal I-90 crash - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

UPDATE

Suspect, victim ID'd in wrong way fatal I-90 crash

Posted: Updated:
The head-on crash happened on I-90 near the Turah exit. (Russ Thomas/MTN News photo) The head-on crash happened on I-90 near the Turah exit. (Russ Thomas/MTN News photo)

MISSOULA - Eduardo Lopez has been charged with negligent homicide in the death of a woman when he drove the wrong way on Interstate 90 east of Bonner on Wednesday.

The Missoula County Attorney’s Office has charged Lopez with one count of negligent homicide and eight counts of criminal endangerment. The eight counts of criminal endangerment are for each of the complainants that Lopez nearly hit.

The Montana Highway Patrol reported Lopez entered Interstate 90 somewhere near the Van Buren Street exit Wednesday morning just before 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, according to court documents.

One of the complainants reported Lopez was traveling approximately 75 mph in the westbound lane passing lane and did not seem to notice that he was going the wrong way.

Several minutes later, the complainant informed Missoula 911 Dispatch that a westbound vehicle had pulled into the passing lane to get around a semi-truck and was struck head-on by Lopez.

When MHP Trooper Jacob Parks arrived on the crash scene, he observed a burning Toyota Highlander, the vehicle Lopez struck. The MHP has identified the driver of the Toyota as Shawna Wootan, 54.

Lopez was taken to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula where he agreed to provide a blood sample for testing. Lopez told an MHP trooper that prior to the crash he left the Red Lion Hotel and was attempting to return to the La Quinta hotel. He admitted to consuming alcohol the previous evening.

Lopez remained in the hospital as of mid-afternoon on Friday.  


(first report)

MISSOULA - The Missoula County Attorney’s Office has filed charges against the man who is accused of driving the wrong way on Interstate 90 near Bonner on Wednesday.

A 54-year-old woman, whose name has not been released at this time, died in the early morning crash.

Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst says a warrant has been issued for one count of negligent homicide and eight counts of criminal endangerment -- each of the counts represents a person that was run off the road before the collision.

Authorities say the wrong-way driver remains in the hospital. Once he’s released he’ll be arrested. His name is not being released at this time.

The Montana Highway Patrol says the head-on crash happened just before 6 a.m. on Wednesday east of Bonner on Interstate 90. MHP continues to investigate the incident.

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