Box Elder man charged, crash that killed passenger

Box Elder, Montana (AP) January 2011

A Box Elder man is charged in Rocky Boy's tribal court after tribal police say he was speeding with his lights off and struck a horse early Christmas Eve, causing a crash that killed his passenger.

Dawson Demontiney, 24, pleaded not guilty to negligent homicide, reckless driving and failure to report the crash killed Henry Mosney, 19, Rocky Boy Public Safety Officer Tim Martin told the Havre Daily News. The judge ordered Demontiney held on a $10,000 cash bond.

Martin said two patrol cars saw Demontiney's vehicle speeding with its hazard lights on and traveling toward Box Elder shortly before 2 a.m. Dec. 24. The officers turned on their lights and turned around to make a traffic stop but could not catch up with the car on the icy roads.

One of the officers called the tribal police station east of Box Elder and asked employees there to watch for the car. A dispatcher reported seeing the car speed past the police station with its headlights off and shortly after that, reported the car struck a horse.

The car spun 180 degrees clockwise and went airborne. Demontiney fled, but was quickly taken into custody, Martin said. He was treated for his injuries at a Havre hospital.

The FBI is also investigating the crash, which happened on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, and could file federal charges against Demontiney, Martin said.

Earlier reports that the vehicle was being pursued by law enforcement officers at the time of the crash were not correct, Martin said last week.

“They were about four to six miles behind the car at the time of the accident,” he said.