Charges pending in fatal Montana crash |

Charges pending in fatal Montana crash

Ben McCanna

An investigation into the Montana crash that killed former Craig resident Sarah Fleming is nearly complete.

"At this time, charges are pending," said Marcus Cook, a trooper with the Montana Highway Patrol who is leading the investigation.

Louis Schardine, 27, of Cameron, Mont., was driving a Ford truck at 2:15 a.m. Aug. 14 on U.S. Highway 87 in Madison County, Mont., when he reportedly lost control of the vehicle about five miles south of Ennis, Mont.

Fleming was a passenger in the truck.

"It was a single-vehicle crash," Cook said. "The vehicle ran off the right side of the road, impacting a telephone pole. … (The vehicle then) overturned on its side and slid into a tree where it came to a rest."

Fleming, 22, a 2006 Moffat County High School graduate, was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Schardine was reportedly taken to a hospital in Billings, Mont. Cook said he wasn't sure of the extent of Schardine's injuries.

Cook said he didn't want to comment on possible charges against Schardine.

Alcohol and speed are suspected factors in the crash, but those factors remain under investigation, he said.

"(Toxicology reports) are still pending," Cook said Tuesday. "We haven't been able to pinpoint the exact rate of speed, but we know it was a high rate of speed."

Cook declined comment on whether Schardine has any previous arrests or convictions on his record.

"That's not something that I want to release at this time," he said.

The investigation should be completed in two weeks, Cook said.

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