BUTTE — A Butte man entered a not-guilty plea Thursday in district court in connection with hitting a pedestrian with his pickup truck, which resulted in the death of the elderly man.
Jack Lean, 65, faces a felony charge of vehicular homicide. He’s accused of being intoxicated on the evening of March 3 when he hit an 80-year-old man with his pickup truck while the man was crossing Farragut Avenue.
The victim, Thomas Kelly, remained hospitalized at St. James Healthcare before dying from his injuries on March 21, according to court papers.
Lean was initially charged with felony negligent vehicular assault, but the charge was amended to the higher charge after Kelly died.
Judge Brad Newman allowed Lean to remain free on court conditions Thursday. Lean must participate in the 24/7 sobriety program while free on bond.
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Police say Kelly was walking in the crosswalk in the 2100 block of Farragut about 6:45 p.m. when he was hit by the southbound pickup truck.
Lean remained at the scene and allegedly told police he didn’t see the pedestrian until after he was struck. Court papers allege Lean’s blood alcohol level was about .12, which is above the legal limit.
Kelly had just left a wake service at St. Ann’s Church when the accident occurred.