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Whitefish woman pleads guilty to DUI homicide

by HEIDI DESCH
Daily Inter Lake | January 12, 2022 1:00 AM

A Whitefish woman pleaded guilty Monday in Flathead County District Court to felony vehicular homicide while under the influence after she struck and killed a Columbia Falls girl with her vehicle in May 2021.

Jessica Adena Farbstein had previously pleaded not guilty to the charge, but on Monday her attorney told the court a plea agreement had been reached in the case.

According to police reports, Farbstein on May 20 was driving a Chrysler Town and Country minivan westbound when she struck Brooke Hanson, 15, who was walking westbound on the edge of the road about 9:40 p.m. at the intersection of Tamarack and 12th Avenue West North in Columbia Falls.

Hanson was thrown into the ditch and later died from her injuries at Logan Health in Kalispell.

Farbstein fled the scene and was later apprehended in Whitefish by police there, who pulled over her minivan after noticing damage to the vehicle from the collision.

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

Farbstein was given a field sobriety test where she “exhibited slow, slurred speech and glossy eyes, and her breath emitted the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage.”

Farbstein also consented to a blood test. Family members later bailed Farbstein out of jail.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 24. She faces a maximum term of 30 years in the Montana State Women’s Prison.

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