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Woman sentenced after hitting Flathead child while leaving school bus

Patricia Berliner
Posted at 5:03 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 21:47:24-04

KALISPELL — The woman charged with hitting and severely injuring a child while she was getting off a school bus near Whitefish agreed to a mediation sentence with the State of Montana Thursday in Flathead County District Court.

Patricia Berliner, whose vehicle hit 6-year-old Jordana Hubble in early November of 2019, originally pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony criminal endangerment in April of 2020 and was released on her own recognizance.

Berliner’s attorney Alisha Rapkoch filed a joint motion to refer the case to mediation in October of 2020 after consulting with Flathead County Attorney Travis Ahner. Judge Dan Wilson approved the mediation Thursday which includes a deferred sentence of six years.

Berliner must complete 100 hours of community service, complete a distracted driving course and support the family in ongoing bus safety legislation. Other conditions of the mediation are kept confidential, but Judge Wilson says paying restitution will be addressed in another venue.

Court documents state Jordana “was reportedly thrown approximately 60 feet from the point of impact to where she came to rest in the ditch.

Jordana was taken to Nexus Children’s Hospital in Houston in January of 2020 to continue her recovery from the injuries she sustained in the incident.

She returned home to Olney in August to continue treatment.

Veronica said the recovery Jordana is making at home is simply amazing.

“It’s been really, really good, she’s still making ground, she’s still going on upward trend, she hasn’t plateaued or anything, we kind of reach those points where we feel like oh maybe this is kind of her level and she just proves us wrong again, like no I can do more than that,” Hubble tells MTN News.

She said Jordana is making significant progress in her ability to walk and communicate on her own.