Crime

UPDATE: Whitefish Woman Charged with Striking, Killing Teenage Pedestrian

Jessica Adena Farbstein was allegedly intoxicated when she drove her minivan into a 15-year-old girl walking north of Columbia Falls

By Andy Viano

A 37-year-old Whitefish woman was charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence in Flathead County District Court on Friday, one day after prosecutors allege she struck and killed a 15-year-old girl who was walking on the side of the road outside Columbia Falls.

Jessica Adena Farbstein was arrested Thursday night and taken into custody at the Flathead County Detention Center. She had not made an initial court appearance as of 2:30 p.m. Friday.

According to charging documents and a report by the Montana Highway Patrol, an unidentified 15-year-old girl from Kalispell was walking westbound on the edge of Tamarack Lane near the intersection with 12th Avenue WN on Thursday night. Farbstein was also headed westbound on Tamarack Lane in a blue Chevrolet Town and Country minivan when she collided with the girl at approximately 9:40 p.m., sending her into a ditch. The girl was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Minutes after the collision was reported to law enforcement, a Whitefish Police officer pulled over a blue minivan with “obvious damage” on the front passenger corner of the vehicle. When the officer asked Farbstein about the damage, she said she had struck a mailbox before asking, “did I hit a person?”

The responding officer also reported Farbstein showed several signs of intoxication, including slow, slurred speech, and that she “exhibited numerous indicators of impairment” when asked to perform field sobriety tests. A blood sample was later taken and sent to the Montana State Crime Lab for analysis.

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