Missoula City Prosecutor Killed in Weekend Crash

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – Missoula city prosecutor Judy Wang is one of two people who were killed in highway crashes over the weekend, the Montana Highway Patrol said.

Wang, 57, died of injuries suffered when a speeding car rear-ended hers on Interstate 90 near Anaconda at about 7 p.m. Friday. The patrol says Wang’s car slid into the median and rolled several times, coming to rest in the eastbound lanes.

Missoula City Attorney Jim Nugent said Wang was on her way back from a domestic abuse training seminar when she was struck.

“I don’t know what words to use to describe it, but she was so important to the victims of domestic violence,” Nugent said. “She was important to helping the social services and prosecution end of it.”

Nugent said Wang helped develop the field of domestic violence law and often traveled to Helena to lobby for laws that would help prosecute violent offenders.

In 2004, the Montana attorney general’s office, the state bar association and the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence presented Wang with a lifetime achievement award.

University of Montana law professor Cynthia Ford called Wang “inspiring.”

“Judy was just totally committed to helping the people who were affected by domestic violence and she was totally committed to young law students. There are just a handful of attorneys who have walked the walk of public service, and Judy did that day in and day out,” Ford said. “Every day, she woke up and did it again with the same amount of commitment as she did the day before.”

Wang was also an evening instructor in the trial advocacy program at UM’s law school.

The driver of the vehicle that struck Wang’s, a 25-year-old Butte man, and his 22-year-old passenger were not injured. Trooper Kenneth Klapan said the driver submitted to a blood-alcohol test.

In another crash Friday evening, a 72-year-old Townsend man died after losing control of his vehicle while trying to avoid another vehicle that had slowed to pull off Highway 12 between Avon and Garrison. The victim, whose name hasn’t been released, was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.

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