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Negligent assault charges go to trial

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A Charlo woman is accused of driving onto U.S. Highway 93 from Eagle Pass Trail without yielding to oncoming traffic and causing a serious crash.

Stacy Leann Markus, 53, entered a plea of not guilty at District Court in Polson on Oct. 15 to one felony count of negligent vehicular assault.

According to court records, on Aug. 16, emergency services were dispatched to a report of a two-vehicle accident on U. S. Highway 93 with both vehicles engulfed in flames. Good Samaritans were able to rescue the driver of one vehicle who was trapped, and the person had suffered serious injuries. All three occupants of that vehicle had to be transported to an area hospital. 

Witnesses reported seeing Markus pull onto the highway without yielding to an oncoming vehicle that was pulling a large trailer at highway speeds. The vehicles collided and burst into flames.

Markus allegedly could not recite the alphabet and failed other sobriety tests. The driver that was pulled from the burning vehicle suffered a broken leg and likely would have burned alive had it not been for “heroic efforts of several bystanders,” according to records. 

District Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher approved an own recognizance release with a number of conditions, including that Markus be prohibited from consuming alcohol and wear an alcohol monitoring device. She set a trial date of Feb. 22.

 

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