24 year-old Eduardo Lopez appeared in Missoula Justice Court on Monday, charged with negligent homicide and criminal endangerment after driving the wrong way on I-90 last week and allegedly causing the death of a woman in a fiery head-on crash.

Court documents indicate that Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputy Von Gontard pulled Lopez from his truck to get him away from the flaming wreckage of the Toyota Highlander that had been driven by the victim.

Court documents state that MHP Sergeant Sean Finley took a blood sample from Lopez at St. Patrick Hospital. He admitted that he had consumed alcohol the previous night.

Deputy Missoula County Attorney Brittney Williams prepared the charging documents.

“Eduardo Lopez is the suspect that was involved in the head-on collision that occurred at mile marker 111 on Wednesday between Bonner and Turah,” Williams said. “The first count is negligent homicide and he has an additional eight charges of felony criminal endangerment for other victims that were nearly hit head on by Mr. Lopez. There may be additional charges as more victims come forward.”

The accident occurred just after 6:00 a.m. when Lopez was driving eastbound in the westbound lane of I-90, and struck the Highlander head on at approximately 75 miles per hour, according to a witness to the crash.  The other drivers all told investigators that they had to swerve to avoid striking Lopez’s truck, and feared for their lives.

Lopez, who spoke softly and hesitatingly to Judge Landee Holloway during his appearance in justice court, said he lives in Oregon, and will be hiring his own attorney. He received permission from the court to travel back and forth from his home in Oregon, as long as he follows conditions of his release.

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