Kalispell Man Pleads Not Guilty to Vehicular Homicide

Jared Parsons allegedly crashed his car into an Evergreen home killing a 15-year-old girl

By Justin Franz
Jared Allen Parsons of Kalispell appears in Flathead County District Court for his arraignment on May 30, 2019 for a single felony count of vehicular homicide while under the influence for allegedly causing the death of 15-year-old Erin Howk. He pleaded not guilty. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

A 31-year-old Kalispell man pleaded not guilty to a single count of felony vehicular homicide while under the influence, nearly a month after he crashed his car into an Evergreen home killing a 15-year-old girl.

Jared Allen Parsons appeared at an arraignment before Judge Dan Wilson on May 30 in Flathead County District Court. If convicted at trial later this year, he could spend up to 30 years in prison and have to pay a $50,000 fine.

A date for the trial has not yet been set but Wilson said he would issue a scheduling order in the coming days.

According to an affidavit in support of the charges, Montana Highway Patrol troopers Jerril Ren and Eric Thoreson responded to a report of a vehicle crashing into a house on Spring Creek Drive at around 2:16 a.m. on April 26. Upon arriving, they learned that a Dodge Ram pickup truck crashed through a sign, ran over some bushes and struck a house, killing 15-year-old Erin Howk, a student at Columbia Falls High School. The teen had been sleeping and was dead when authorities arrived.

Trooper Thoreson located two men near the scene of the crash and identified one as Howk’s father, who was on top of the other man, and the other as Parsons.

“The father stated that Parsons had driven into his house. The father stated that he had pulled Parsons out of his vehicle and Parsons took off running,” the charging documents state.

Trooper Ren detected the strong odor of alcohol coming from Parsons, and observed he had a difficult time maintaining his balance and stumbled when he walked, records state. Parsons refused to participate in field sobriety tests and, after being read the implied consent advisory, refused to provide a blood sample.

According to records, the pickup crashed through the exterior of the house “to approximately the driver’s door” and was registered to Parsons.