HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – A man has pleaded not guilty in Hill County to a vehicle homicide under the influence charge after new evidence surfaced regarding a 2017 single-car accident that killed a passenger.
William Joe Skidmore entered the plea on Monday in Hill County District Court.
Court documents state on the night of August 15th, 2017, a 2011 Chevy Impala struck a tree on 9th Street West in Havre, near Highland Cemetary, causing significant injury to the occupants of the vehicle.
When officers arrived, Skidmore was several yards from the vehicle, while the other vehicle’s occupants were in passenger seats. Skidmore claimed that an unknown female had been driving the car and ran from the scene.
A large amount of alcohol was observed in the vehicle and officers reported that an overwhelming odor of alcohol was emanating from the inside.
Skidmore and one of the passengers, identified as Jason Skidmore, were life-flighted to Benefis Hospital. Jason Skidmore was pronounced dead at around 10:10 AM that morning.
The other passenger, identified as Jennifer Wilkinson, was transported to Seattle for treatment of her injuries.
William Skidmore had repeatedly denied to officers that he was the driver in the fatal crash.
However, a forensic analyst with the Montana State Crime lab says a DNA test recently conducted of the person Skidmore accused of driving the vehicle concluded that she wasn’t the driver.
No future court dates have been set.