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Accident

A Great Falls man appeared in court Thursday in Ravalli County on felony charges following a late night hit and run that left a man with broken bones and a concussion.

Thomas Rex McWilliams, 38, is charged with negligent vehicular assault and criminal possession of methamphetamine. He also faces misdemeanor counts of failure to give information and render aid and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to an affidavit filed by Ravalli County Deputy Attorney Angela Wetzsteon, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper was dispatched at about 10 p.m. Wednesday to a hit-and-run crash about one mile north of Victor.

When he arrived, he found the victim, Stanley Wilson, laying on the northbound shoulder of U.S. Highway 93 being attended by medical personnel. The man who called in the crash told the trooper he found vehicle parts in the road as well as the victim’s shoes.

The trooper collected a shattered mirror and a number from inside the mirror’s mounting, from which he determined it belonged to a 1997 to 2001 Toyota Camry. Based on that information and the paint color from debris along the road, the trooper sent out an alert for a car with damage to its right front end.

A Missoula deputy later located a car matching the description at the Bonner Town Pump. The deputy detained the two males in the car until the trooper arrived.

When the trooper spoke with McWilliams, the affidavit said he appeared to be sleeping while standing. 

The affidavit said McWilliams admitted to driving from Hamilton and being in a crash, but said he thought he had hit a deer. He also admitted that he didn’t stop even though the passenger mirror had been ripped from his car.

The passenger in the car also said he knew they had hit something, but he didn’t know it was a person.

The affidavit said McWilliams admitted to using methamphetamine. He was transported to St. Patrick’s Hospital, where his blood was drawn for testing at the Montana State Crime Lab.

The victim suffered a broken tibia, fibia, right first rib, scapula and elbow. He also had a concussion.

Ravalli County Justice Jennifer Ray set bail at $15,000, with a requirement that McWilliams wear a drug patch if released from the detention center. As of Friday morning, McWilliams remained in custody.

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Associate Editor

Reporter for The Ravalli Republic.