Fifteen months after a head-on accident in Marion claimed the lives of two people, a Flathead County man has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide while under the influence, according to court filings.
Tim Allen Peters, 56, faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted on both counts. He was not in custody as of Tuesday afternoon.
Charging documents allege Peters was driving a blue Chevrolet pickup westbound on U.S. Highway 2 on Aug. 31, 2019 when the truck crossed the centerline and entered the eastbound lane near mile marker 101 just outside Marion. A second pickup swerved into the westbound lane to attempt to avoid a collision but Peters also steered back into the westbound lane, causing the head-on crash. The driver of the second pickup, Jeffrey Lewis, and a passenger, Leona Vaile, were both pronounced dead at the scene. Peters was taken to the hospital and Montana Highway Patrol troopers discovered beer cans and a cup with “amber colored liquid” inside his vehicle.
Investigators later obtained a search warrant to draw Peters’ blood at the hospital. The results of that blood draw revealed Peters had a blood-alcohol concentration of .182, more than twice the legal limit.
Prosecutor Stacy Boman declined to offer specific comment on why her office decided to charge Peters now, 15 months after the accident, but praised law enforcement for their tireless investigative work.
“Our office asked law enforcement to do a very thorough investigation given the seriousness of this case,” she said. “And that investigation took a long time to complete.”
The estates of Lewis and Vaile sued Peters in Flathead County District Court in February. That case was settled out of court.
UPDATE (Jan. 12, 3:30 p.m.): This story was updated to include comment from Deputy Flathead County Attorney Stacy Boman.