Man pleads guilty in DUI crash that injured 6 passengers

2014-07-15T14:32:00Z 2014-07-15T23:51:27Z Man pleads guilty in DUI crash that injured 6 passengersBy EDDIE GREGG The Billings Gazette

A man appeared in court Tuesday and admitted that he was driving drunk on New Year’s Day when he crashed, injuring all six of his passengers.

The driver, 41-year-old Roger Ross Backer, appeared in Yellowstone County District Court and pleaded guilty to felony criminal endangerment and his third DUI, a misdemeanor.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 6.

Charging documents say Backer crashed near the intersection of North Eighth and West E roads, near Huntley, during the early hours of Jan. 1.

Emergency crews were called to the area at 12:23 a.m. and found a Ford sport-utility vehicle in an irrigation ditch.

When law enforcement officials spoke with Backer — who initially needed help walking from a sheriff's deputy and had a bloodied face and a large cut on his neck — he smelled of alcohol and said he had been driving, according to charging documents.

Investigators also spoke with six other people, all of whom said they were passengers in the Ford when it crashed and that Backer had been driving.

"All of the passengers received injuries in the crash ranging from broken bones to lacerations and bruises," charging documents state. "All of the passengers, except (one), admitted to consuming alcoholic beverages. All of the passengers indicated (Backer) was driving too fast for the road conditions and was impaired."

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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