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WHEN THE STARS BURN DOWN BY PHILLIPS CRAIG DEAN
PLEASE keep the city of Missoula, MT in your prayers!!!
Four young man were involved in a car accident early Sunday morning, due to drinking and driving and driving at a very high rate of speed.
One young man was killed at the time of the accident and another one was taken off life support yesterday and passed last night. The driver remains in the hospital here in Missoula and the other passenger was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and from my understanding is in a coma with a broken neck and bleeding liver.
This has affected so many people!!
The young man that died at the scene of the accident was, Jason McDonald, He was 20 years old and was the father of a 5 month old and 3 year old. He was also a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a drinking and driving accident just over a year ago where a young women lost her life. He was flown to Seattle and was hospitalized for his injuries in that accident. Lots of people are judging him and his family is hearing a lot of negative comments, instead of prayers, apologizes and support.
The young man that passed last night was, Josh Gruebele. He was 18 years old and a senior at Big Sky High School. Josh’s family has lost 3 or 4 family members due to car accidents in the past 15 years. His family is struggling along with several friends from school! Big Sky High School is a very sad place right now! He will be very missed by his family, friends, co-workers and classmates..
Justin Barber, 21, was the driver and still remains in the hospital. He is being charged with two counts of vehicular homicide while under the influence for the deaths of Jason McDonald, 20, of Frenchtown and Josh Gruebele, 18, of Missoula. He's also facing one count of negligent vehicular assault for causing serious injuries to the third passenger, Nic Von Platz. I can’t image what he is going through. Struggling for his life and dealing with the fact that he killed 2 friends and seriously injured the other. This young man needs lots of love and support.
Nic Von Platz is the young man that was flown to Seattle. He is also fighting for his life and is in critical/serious condition.
This has Missoula in a very angry and sad state!! The Missoula Police Department and the Missoula County Sheriff's Office have investigated 193 DUIs in the last two months with 167 of those within the city limits and six resulting in a fatality. This is crazy and out of control!!
Please keep the town of Missoula, the 2 survivors and all the friends and family members of the 4 young men in your thoughts and prayers!!!
Here is an article the local paper posted:
A second man, 18-year-old Josh Kenneth Gruebele of Missoula, has died as a result of a crash on Hillview Way early Sunday morning, according to Missoula County Sheriff’s Detective T.J. McDermott.
The crash also killed Jason McDonald, 20, of Frenchtown. Two other young men in the car were injured in the accident that occurred when the car in which they all were riding went off a curve on Hillview and rolled several times, authorities said.
Justin Barber, 21, the car’s driver, will face two charges of vehicular homicide while under the influence and two charges of negligent vehicular assault, according to Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jennifer Clark.
The fourth man in the car, Nicholas Von Platz, is listed in serious condition in the intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
Missoula Police Detective Sgt. Bob Bouchee said alcohol and speed were factors in the crash. The Montana Highway Patrol estimated the car was traveling more than 80 mph when it went off the road.
Barber refused a breath test, so authorities obtained subpoenas for a blood test, Clark said.
Here is an article the local new station posted:
MISSOULA- The Missoula County Attorney's Office has charged a Missoula man with three felony counts in connection with the deaths of two of his friends and seriously injuring another one in Sunday morning's crash on Hillview Way.
Justin Leshai Barber is being charged with two counts of vehicular homicide while under the influence for the deaths of Jason McDonald, 20, of Frenchtown and Joshua Ken Gruebele, 18, of Missoula. He's also facing one count of negligent vehicular assault for causing serious injuries to the third passenger, Nicholas Platz.
The crash happened on Sunday at around 3 :15 a.m. on Hillview Way near Alliance Way. Prosecutors say officers arrived on the scene and found a Cadillac that had lost control on a curve, went off the road, flew into a gully and then rolled over several times into some nearby trees.
Barber told the investigators on the scene that he and his three friends were coming home from a party and he admitted that he was driving too fast and that he missed the curve. Police say all four men were thrown from the car.
Two of the men were found near Barber while McDonald's body was found about 40 to 60 feet away from the car according to court documents.
Officers said they could smell alcohol on Barber and they found beer cans at the scene. Barber remains in a Missoula hospital and Platz is still receiving treatment at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.