KALISPELL (AP) – A 22-year-old woman involved in a traffic accident that killed Montana Highway Patrol trooper David Graham pleaded no contest Tuesday to one count of careless driving resulting in a death.
Jennirae Bloom entered her plea in Flathead County Justice Court the same day the charges were filed. She faces up to six months in a detention center and a $5,000 fine, but prosecutors aren’t expected to request jail time.
“The young lady is very remorseful for what happened,” Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan said.
The decision to charge Bloom with careless driving rather than negligent homicide was reached after discussions with Graham’s widow and the highway patrol, Corrigan said. He added that all parties involved thought the charge was appropriate.
Bloom told investigators she was reaching down to pick something up when her truck swerved and crashed nearly head-on into an unmarked sedan being driven by Graham, 36.
Bloom suffered a broken leg in the Oct. 9 crash. She was not wearing a seat belt, officials said.
After the collision, the pickup went airborne and landed on its passenger side near the shoulder of the road, a witness said.
Bloom’s sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.
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