Man pleads guilty to DUI crash that killed girl

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Parsons

A Kalispell man who faced a felony charge of negligent vehicular homicide while under the influence after running his car through an Evergreen home and killing a 15-year-old girl pleaded guilty in Flathead District Court Thursday afternoon.

Jared Allen Parsons, 31, was driving in Evergreen April 26, 2019, when his Dodge Ram vehicle veered off the road and crashed into a home off Spring Creek Drive around 2 a.m., according to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office.

The collision killed teenager Erin Howk, a Columbia Falls High School freshman, while she slept in her in her bed.

Parsons took the stand and answered questions from his attorney, Liam Gallagher, about the night of April 26.

Parsons said he drank alcohol at a residence and at a sports bar before crashing into the home where Howk lived. He also said he spoke to the girl’s mother about how the incident has changed the lives of people on both sides of the tragedy.

Flathead County Attorney Travis Ahner said he spoke with the girl’s mother about how to prevent “this from happening again.”

Parsons said he is seeking treatment for his drinking issues. According to authorities, Parsons was driving with a suspended license at the time.

Parsons, who remains in the Flathead County Detention Center, is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. Thursday, March 5.

Ahner said the state’s sentencing recommendation is for a 20-year sentence, with 13 years suspended.

Parsons originally faced up to 30 years in state prison.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com.

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