A Stevens County Sheriff’s deputy has been charged with aggravated DUI and felony criminal endangerment in Montana, according to Flathead County court documents.
On Nov. 23, the evening of Thanksgiving, Brandon M. Hoover allegedly drove his truck through the scene of a fatal crash on state Highway 35 southeast of Kalispell, struck a vehicle and sped over 100 miles per hour before driving into a field and hitting a fence, police said.
After Hoover drove back onto the roadway, police said, he turned around, turned off his lights and exited the vehicle with his hands in the air.
Police said Hoover, 29, admitted to drinking and said he was looking down at his phone when he drove through the accident scene at 8:58 p.m. Two hours earlier, a 26-year-old Troy woman was killed in a two-vehicle accident.
Hoover took an alcohol breathalyzer test, police said, and blew a .178, over twice the legal limit.
According to court documents, the reporting Montana State Trooper said he heard yelling from volunteer firefighters at the crash scene, who were running toward the traffic sign set for passing cars. When Hoover drove through, the trooper said in the police report, he was unsure whether Hoover had struck a vehicle or a firefighter directing traffic.
When the trooper began pursuit, he said, Hoover was driving “well over 90 mph” and, at one point, “went over 100 mph.”
Montana District Judge Amy Eddy set Hoover’s bond for $25,000. His arraignment is Dec. 14.
The Stevens County Sheriff’s Department, based in Colville, did not return calls to The Spokesman-Review for comment.
Hoover, a Kettle Falls High School and Washington State University graduate, has been a deputy with Stevens County since 2013.