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Whitefish woman accused of DUI homicide free on bail

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
Daily Inter Lake | June 4, 2021 11:57 AM

A Whitefish woman accused of striking and killing a Columbia Falls girl while driving drunk is free on bail.

Jessica Adena Farbstein, 37, was lodged in the Flathead County Detention Center on $150,000 bail before Leilani A. Farbstein and Daniel A. Farbstein agreed to act as sureties after they put up land and property they own on Columbia Avenue in Whitefish that is valued at about $460,000, according to court documents filed June 2 in Flathead County District Court.

If Farbstein fails to make her mandatory court appearances or follow conditions of her release, a judge may order the bond forfeited.

Some of the release conditions Farbstein must follow include not drinking alcohol or entering bars, taverns or casinos and wearing a device to monitor alcohol use.

Farbstein was booked into the county jail May 21 and released June 3. She faces a felony charge of vehicular homicide while under the influence.

According to the Montana Highway Patrol and court documents, 15-year-old Brooke Hanson was walking west along the edge of Tamarack Lane, just north of Columbia Falls, when she was hit by a westbound Chrysler Town and Country minivan at about 9:40 p.m. May 20 at the intersection of Tamarack and 12th Street West.

Authorities reported Hanson was struck on her left side and thrown into a ditch. She died of her injuries later that night at Logan Health Medical Center in Kalispell.

Farbstein left the scene and was apprehended later that night in Whitefish.

While being arrested, Farbstein allegedly told Whitefish police Officer Chris Duke that she hit a mailbox, but then asked, "Did I hit a person?"

Duke then gave Farbstein a field sobriety test and she "exhibited slow, slurred speech and glossy eyes, and her breath emitted the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage," court records state.

Farbstein also consented to a blood test. She faces a maximum term of 30 years in the Montana State Women’s Prison.

Her arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, June 17, in Flathead County District Court.

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