HAMILTON – A Florence man is facing several charges after a truck he was driving crashed into a fence, injuring his passenger and sending the 18-year-old to the hospital.
Cody Lee Wright, 21, is charged with a laundry list of charges; negligent vehicular assault, criminal endangerment, driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to give immediate notice of crash, failure to remain at a crash scene and unlawful transactions with children.
The Montana Highway Patrol responded to the area of Highway 93 North and Sweeney Creek Loop just after 8 p.m. Monday for a report of a single vehicular crash.
Witnesses reported that the occupants of the vehicle had all fled the scene in two other vehicles. One witness described seeing an injured person frantically loaded into one of the vehicles that left the scene.
The other vehicle was reported to have left the scene with three occupants after removing a case of beer from the crashed Chevrolet pickup truck.
Troopers were able to track down Wright at his home, where the defendant admitted he had been taking a joy ride on Sweeny Creek Loop with two passengers in the vehicle.
Over the course of several interviews with the two passengers, they said they had been drinking and that Wright drifted off the road and crashed into a fence.
A piece of fence came through the vehicle and struck an 18-year-old passenger in the head.
The other passenger told MHP that they didn’t want to get into trouble so they called the injured passenger’s parents to pick him up and take him to the hospital.
The defendant’s brother picked up the defendant and other passenger and left the scene of the crash, according to one of the passengers.
MHP reports the injured passenger suffered blunt force trauma to the head and it is too early to determine if there are other brain-related injuries.
Wright is being held in the Ravalli County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.