Local man charged in deadly Montana crash

SANDPOINT — A Sandpoint man is facing felony charges in Montana for allegedly speeding the wrong way down Interstate 90 and colliding head-on with another motorist.

Patricia Graves, a 57-year-old from Ronan, Mont., was killed in the Tuesday collision and Christopher Kepler was charged with negligent homicide and criminal endangerment, according to media reports published in Montana.

The crash occurred west of the southwestern Montana community of Garrison.

Butte TV station KXLF, citing witness reports, said Kepler was driving as fast as 95 miles an hour when he collided with Graves’ pickup truck. Graves and her husband were in the process of moving from Ronan to Circle after purchasing a business, the station reported.

The corner for Powell County told the station that Graves died of blunt force trauma.

Further information about the criminal proceedings against Kepler in Montana were not immediately available on Thursday.

Kepler, 41, is scheduled to be arraigned later this month in Bonner County Magistrate Court on charges of driving without privileges and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Idaho Supreme Court Data Repository.

Kepler was convicted in 2010 of misdemeanor domestic battery, the repository states. There are also two sealed cases, although the repository does not specify if they are civil or criminal matters.

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