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Bozeman man charged with vehicular homicide - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Bozeman man charged with vehicular homicide

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Lucas Keith Johnson, 23, is charged with negligent vehicular homicide. (MTN News photo) Lucas Keith Johnson, 23, is charged with negligent vehicular homicide. (MTN News photo)
BOZEMAN -

A 22-year-old woman is dead and a Bozeman man is behind bars after an early Thursday morning crash on Rocky Mountain Road, north of Belgrade.

Lucas Keith Johnson, 23, is charged with negligent vehicular homicide for the death of 22-year-old Morgan Lee Gaither.

According to charging documents, Johnson was reportedly driving northbound on Rocky Mountain Road, approximately one mile north of Morgan Road, with three passengers when he failed to negotiate a curve and rolled his Chevy Tahoe. Johnson told Montana Highway Patrol troopers he and the other front-seat passenger were wearing seatbelts, but the two passengers in the back seat were not.

Gaither was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. CPR was administered by Johnson and another passenger.

Johnson reportedly told investigators that he consumed 4 to 5 alcoholic beverages prior to the crash, with the last beer consumed at approximately 11:45 p.m. Multiple beer cans were discovered both inside and outside the vehicle.

During an interview at the hospital, a trooper noted Johnson’s breath “smelled strongly of the odor of an alcoholic beverage.” Johnson did consent to a legal blood draw to check BAC.

In justice court Thursday morning, Johnson’s bond was set at $75,000 and he was ordered to level 4 pre-trial services. 

Johnson is from Minnesota and travels back there regularly to work for his father. He had planned to go back on Sunday for the summer.

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