Accused drunk driver has filed criminal charges after police chase

Accused drunk driver has filed criminal charges after police chase

March 10—An alleged drunken driver who struck a pickup truck while fleeing Kalispell police officers Wednesday evening faces multiple charges in Flathead County District Court.

Authorities arrested Aaron Clay King, 43, after an officer spotted a Chevrolet pickup traveling down US 93 without headlights or taillights on March 8 around 8:39 p.m. Center, according to court documents.

Prosecutors have since filed aggravated felony endangerment and driving under the influence, first offense, charges against King. He is scheduled to appear before Judge Robert Allison on March 30.

According to court documents, an officer following the pickup while it was southbound on US 93 near the Grandview Drive intersection attempted to make a traffic stop over the northbound turn lane. The driver of the pickup returned to the southbound lane and hit the right turn signal and pulled onto the shoulder. Instead of stopping there, the pickup drove into the ditch before returning to the road, court documents said.

At the intersection of US 93 and North Meridian Road, the driver of the Chevrolet allegedly crossed into oncoming traffic, striking a Ford F350. The Chevrolet then ran a red light at the intersection with Sunnyview Lane, nearly hitting another vehicle.

Heading the wrong way down Sunnyview Lane, the Chevrolet went over a sidewalk and came to a stop near the entrance to the medical center.

Pursuing officers identified and arrested King, court documents said. Officers described him as smelling of an alcoholic beverage and struggling to keep his balance. He also exhibited slurred speech and red and glazed eyes, according to court documents.

Although King reportedly refused to participate in field sobriety tests, he agreed to provide a breath sample. Officers recorded his breath alcohol content at .187, according to court documents.

If convicted, King faces up to 10 years in Montana state prison and a $50,000 fine for the criminal endangerment count. Driving under the influence is a misdemeanor, first offense, carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or [email protected]

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