The driver who allegedly hit a house at the corner of South Avenue and Bancroft Street on Sunday night now faces charges of endangering the two passengers in her car.

Jana Madeleine Lorenz, 45, was charged with two counts of felony criminal endangerment, misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and misdemeanor failure to obey traffic lights when she appeared before Missoula County Justice of the Peace John Odlin on Monday.

Odlin ordered her held on $50,000 bail.

Officers were already looking for a suspect who had picked up a child from day care while appearing intoxicated when they got the call of a car hitting a house, according to court reports.

At about 9 p.m., they found Lorenz's gray Pontiac Grand Am had "destroyed part of a cedar fence and damaged the west end of the residence." Both of the car's airbags had deployed in the wreck and the house had a large crack in the west-facing wall, officers reported.

Lorenz was still in the car with her two sons when officers arrived, according to the court affidavit. They reported she failed several field sobriety tests and admitted drinking for three hours at a Missoula bar before leaving to pick up one son at day care.

Witnesses told police they were at the intersection, which has a four-way stop, when they saw a car coming too fast for the slick streets. They said the eastbound car went through the light without stopping, tried to make a turn, then hit the house.

Lorenz and her passengers were treated for minor injuries after the crash.

Reporter Rob Chaney can be reached at 523-5382 or at


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