GREAT FALLS — A man is facing a charge of negligent homicide in connection with the death of Justin Lopez in Fergus County.
The Montana Highway Patrol on Sunday said Lopez, 23 years old, died after being hit by a vehicle at about 3 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2022, several miles northwest of Lewistown.
According to the MHP, a Chevy pickup truck with two occupants - a 20-year old male driver and a 21-year old male passenger - was heading east on Wolverine Creek Road near Joyland Road.
After negotiating a curve, the driver reportedly lost control of the truck, which went off the road to the left, hitting the pedestrian.
The pedestrian - later identified as Lopez- died at the scene, according to the MHP.
After getting back on the road, the driver over-corrected, causing the vehicle to rotate 180 degrees, coming to rest in a ditch.
The MHP report says "the vehicle and occupants fled the scene." We do not yet know how or when the suspect was apprehended.
According to the MHP, speed and alcohol were factors in the collision.
There is no word at this point on what - if any - relationship there was between Lopez and the two men in the truck.
According to the Fergus County Detention Center, the suspect is being held on felony charges of negligent homicide; tampering with evidence; and failure to comply with requirements resulting in death; and misdemeanor charges of reckless driving resulting in death; failure to drive to right of way; and failure to give notice of accident by quickest means.
Family members have created a GoFundMe to help with final expenses:
Taken tragically from your mother,father, and sister. The impact you have imprinted on so many hearts is traveled across further than that of which you walked. Your sweet and contagious smile will remain in so many memories. Please help us lay him to rest in a way as beautiful as he.
Click here if you would like to donate.
We will update you as we get more information.
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