Man Arrested After Vehicle Strikes Pedestrians in Whitefish

Husband and wife were struck by a car that had driven up on the sidewalk

By Justin Franz

Two people were sent to the hospital after being struck by a car in Whitefish on July 14.

The driver of the vehicle, James B. French Jr., 56, of Whitefish, was arrested at the scene and charged with negligent vehicular assault, aggravated DUI and reckless driving, according to Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial.

According to Dial, the incident occurred on Baker Avenue at approximately 4:45 p.m. When police arrived, they found a 2012 Mustang up on the sidewalk and two people suffering from “very serious injuries.” The pedestrians, a husband and wife, had been walking on the sidewalk when the vehicle struck them. The woman ended up going down a steep embankment and the man was impaled by some branches in the tree, about 15 feet in the air.

Dial said that although the injuries were serious, both people were expected to survive.

The driver of the vehicle told law enforcement that he had turned north off Eighth Street onto Baker Avenue when he lost control of the vehicle and drove on to the sidewalk.

French remains incarcerated at the Flathead County Jail.

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