A 15-year-old Evergreen girl died about 2 a.m. Friday morning after a vehicle traveling on Spring Creek Drive in Evergreen struck a home, killing the girl as she slept, according to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities identified the girl as Erin Howk, and said her body is being transported to the medical examiner’s office in Missoula for autopsy. Howk was a freshman at Columbia Falls High School. High School Principal Scott Gaiser said school district counselors, along with a grief support team and K-9 support dogs were in place to help students cope with the loss.
Jared Parsons, 31, of Kalispell, the driver, is being held in the Flathead County Detention Center on pending charges of vehicular negligent homicide, failure to remain at the scene of an accident and driving while suspended. Bond has been set at $200,000, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The case is currently under investigation by the Montana Highway Patrol.
The report narrative from the Highway Patrol trooper who responded to the call said Parsons was driving a Dodge Ram vehicle, and was traveling west on Spring Creek Drive, when for unknown reasons he veered off the south side of the street, struck a sign, some bushes and then a house. It’s unknown whether Parsons was wearing a seatbelt; he was not transported to the hospital, the report said. Roads were bare and dry at the time.
Howk was dead upon arrival, the report narrative said.
Speed and alcohol are suspected factors in the crash, the Highway Patrol said.