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Whitefish woman charged after allegedly striking, killing teen near Columbia Falls

by HEIDI DESCH
Whitefish Pilot | May 26, 2021 1:00 AM

A Whitefish woman has been charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence after allegedly striking and killing a 15-year-old girl who was walking along a road north of Columbia Falls on Thursday.

Jessica Adena Farbstein, 37, was charged in Flathead County District Court on Friday just one day after the incident occurred.

The victim was walking westbound on Tamarack Lane around 9:40 p.m. when she was struck by a blue minivan traveling in the same direction and knocked into a ditch, according to court documents and the Montana Highway Patrol. The driver left the scene.

The victim, Brooke Hanson, was taken to Logan Health in Kalispell where she died of her injuries.

Not long after the incident occurred, a Whitefish Police officer pulled over a blue minivan driven by Farbstein that had “obvious damage” to the front passenger side and headlight.

When asked about the damage Farbstein claimed she struck a mailbox, court documents state, but then asked “did I hit a person?”

The officer said that Farbstein exhibited signs of intoxication including slurred speech and glossy eyes, and breath that smelled like alcohol, according to documents, and showed numerous indicators of impairment when performing field sobriety tests.

A blood sample was taken and sent to the Montana State Crime Lab.