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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

25-year-old man sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing 3-year-old girl in Bonner County crash

A Newport man who struck and killed a 3-year-old girl and injured the girl’s younger brother and grandmother with his truck in 2022 in North Idaho received a 10-year prison sentence.

District Judge Lamont Berecz sentenced Dakota LaFountain more than a month ago after LaFountain pleaded guilty in January to vehicular manslaughter, according to court documents recently obtained.

KHQ identified the girl and her age as 3-year-old Scarlett Jensen.

Police responded the late afternoon of Oct. 7, 2022, to the crash at 309 E. Valley St. South in Oldtown, documents say. First responders told police a tan 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe struck three pedestrians. Scarlett died at the scene, and the other two were taken to the hospital .

Bonner County Sheriff’s Office deputies found LaFountain injured more than a half-mile from the scene of the crash, court records show. LaFountain was also taken to the hospital. A person who witnessed the crash told police LaFountain walked away from the scene.

The grandmother told police she was walking on the road with her two grandchildren when she heard a loud vehicle coming from the intersection. She said she saw the Tahoe coming at her and her grandchildren at a fast speed.

She waved and screamed at the Tahoe to get it to slow down, which it did not appear to do, before striking her and the two children, according to documents.

Police said in documents LaFountain drove off the road as he lost control at a sharp turn and overturned the vehicle.

East Valley Street is an “uphill, very poorly maintained dirt road,” police said. The road dead ends and is used as a secondary access road to two residences near the end of the road, documents say.