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Kalispell woman pleads not guilty in fatal crash

by SCOT HEISEL
Lake County Leader | April 29, 2021 8:12 AM

A Kalispell woman accused of causing a fatal accident in Pablo last fall while driving a stolen vehicle pleaded not guilty to charges of negligent homicide and theft, both felonies, on April 1 in Lake County District Court.

On the morning of Sept. 30, 2020, Leasa Sierra Moore, 21, of Kalispell was involved in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of U.S. 93 and Clairmont Road, near Pablo Family Foods.

According to court documents, witnesses said a white car traveling at a high rate of speed on the highway was weaving through traffic as it approached the intersection.

The white car reportedly went through a red light and ran into a vehicle turning onto U.S. 93.

The car was identified as a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero and Moore was identified as the driver of the white car.

The second vehicle, an Acura, was driven by Darlene Wilder, 18, of Polson.

Wilder was driving west around 9:30 a.m. from Clairmont Road into the intersection with the highway when Moore ran a red light and slammed into the side of Wilder’s car, Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremy Lee said at the time. Wilder was thrown out of her vehicle by the force of the crash. She died four days later at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.

Citing skid marks left by Alero and internal data recovered from the Alero, investigators estimated the Alero was traveling at 98 miles an hour prior to braking and leaving the skid marks and was probably going 65 mph at the time of impact.

Investigators later determined the Alero had been stolen from a motel parking lot in Kalispell earlier the same day, and surveillance video showed the theft by someone wearing clothes that matched those taken off Moore at the hospital following the crash.

District Court Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher set a jury trial for Oct. 25.

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