Several Injured in Suspected Drunk Driving Crash in Bozeman
Several people were hospitalized, including some with severe injuries, following a multi-vehicle crash in Bozeman that police believe was caused by a suspected drunk driver.
Court records say that 26-year-old Jonathan Vander Sande told an officer with the Bozeman Police Department that he thought he was at fault for causing the crash. That officer says that Vander Sande’s blood-alcohol level was at least twice the Montana legal limit of .08.
According to court documents, the crash happened at around 5:45 p.m. on Monday, September 9. Several vehicles were involved and suffered severe damage in the wreck.
A reporting officer said that after arriving at the scene, he saw emergency responders treating multiple individuals and that at least one person was pinned inside a vehicle.
At least 12 people were involved in the crash, as well as some dogs. Four people, including a 5-year-old, were hospitalized with injuries “of varying degrees of severity.”
The police report says that Vander Sande was wandering around the scene and that he told an officer that he was not injured but “he thinks he caused the accident.” He reportedly told the officer that he was trying to pass a pickup truck to merge into the left lane and drive towards I-90 eastbound when the truck rear-ended him and hit several other vehicles.
In court documents, the officer noted that Vander Sande’s vehicle had serious damage on its left side, which suggests that Vander Sande swerved into the truck and sent it into oncoming traffic, colliding with a van. According to the officer, this sparked a chain reaction of other vehicles crashing. The officer also said in the report that 3 witnesses reported that they had seen Vander Sande speeding and colliding with the truck.
Vander Sande was arrested and charged with a felony count of negligent vehicular assault. A second breath sample given at the detention center measured at .181.
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Financial Compensation for People Injured by Drunk Drivers in Montana
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of CrimeVictim.Attorney helps people who have been injured by drunk drivers recover the financial compensation they need and deserve. Brian has a few thoughts to add regarding the legal rights of those who have been hit by drunk drivers in Montana:
In all 50 states, people who have been injured by drunk drivers may file a personal injury lawsuit against that drunk driver. However, in Montana and many other states, the legal options for drunk driving injury victims don’t always stop here. In some crashes, these victims may also have grounds for a dram shop lawsuit against a business that provided alcohol to the driver before the crash.
According to Montana’s dram shop laws, an alcohol vendor can be held liable for injuries caused by a customer if the vendor served alcohol to someone who was:
- Under age 21, and the vendor knew or failed to make a “reasonable attempt” to determine if the customer was underage, or
- the person was “visibly intoxicated”, or
- the person was forced or coerced into drinking the beverage or was told that the beverage was non-alcoholic.
If any of these three circumstances applies, the injured person may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the driver as well as a dram shop lawsuit against the alcohol vendor.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, you can learn more about your family’s legal options in a free case evaluation with an experienced drunk driving injury victims lawyer.
The Intersection of North 7th Ave and West Griffin Drive in Bozeman, MT
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