NewsCrime and Courts


MT man pleads guilty to charges related to fatal 2019 crash

Missoula man exonerated in 2008 death of infant son
Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 19:24:57-05

A young Hardin man charged with killing two people in a head-on crash a year and a half ago has pleaded guilty.

Cole Link, 19, pleaded guilty to two counts of felony negligent homicide and one count of negligent endangerment in Big Horn County court Tuesday.

On Aug. 25, 2019, Link, who was then 17, was driving a semi-trailer south on Highway 313 between Hardin and St. Xavier.

The investigation found Link slid into the northbound lane and crashed head-on with a passenger vehicle.

The impact killed both the driver Thomas Tauscher, 58, and his back-seat passenger, Jerry Lively, 67.

The crash also seriously injured another passenger.

Then-Big Horn County Coroner Terry Bullis told Q2 it was the most “horrific crash he had seen in years.”

Cole was released on his own recognizance. A sentencing date has not been set.

He faces up to 41 years in prison.