Bigfork man told to pay $618K; crash led to leg amputation

2014-03-21T12:00:00Z 2014-03-24T00:28:03Z Bigfork man told to pay $618K; crash led to leg amputationThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 21, 2014 12:00 pm  • 

KALISPELL — A Bigfork man has been ordered to pay over $618,000 in restitution to a woman whose leg was amputated after his pickup struck a motorcycle she was riding in July 2012.

Brent Passwater also was sentenced Wednesday to four years with the Department of Corrections followed by six years of probation. Passwater, 48, pleaded guilty in October to negligent vehicular assault.

Prosecutors said Passwater's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit when he made a left turn off of Montana Highway 83 northeast of Bigfork, striking a motorcycle carrying Bryce and Lynn Boot. Lynn Boots' left leg had to be amputated below the knee. Bryce Boots suffered broken toes and smashed knees.

Passwater's insurance paid $300,000 toward the couple's medical bills.

The state sought $1 million in restitution, while Passwater's attorney, Thane Johnson, argued it should be closer to $117,000.

"My life has changed forever," Lynn Boots testified. "I no longer have a leg, it's completely gone for the rest of my life."

District Judge Robert Allison ordered restitution that included $109,000 for lost wages, $14,600 for medical bills not covered by insurance, and $470,000 to cover care of the injury and prosthetics for the rest of Lynn Boots' life.

Allison ordered Passwater to be screened for the state's secure addiction treatment facility in Warm Springs.

Johnson said he would appeal the restitution order.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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