Browning Man Pleads Guilty in 2006 Crash

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS – A Browning man has admitted he was drunk when he crashed his vehicle into an East Glacier couple’s car, causing the couple to suffer 30 broken bones between them.

Robert Lee Welch pleaded guilty this week in federal court in Great Falls to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. The 26-year-old is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 2.

Prosecutors say Welch was driving on Highway 2 near Browning in October 2006 when his vehicle crossed the center line and struck the car in which Brenda and J. Stanley Bailey were traveling.

Brenda Bailey suffered 16 broken bones, including her pelvis, and was hospitalized for six weeks. Her husband’s injuries included eight broken ribs, a broken nose, a broken sternum, and a broken arm and leg.

Court records say Welch’s blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was 0.2 — more than twice the legal limit.