Truck Driver Pleads Not Guilty To Killing I-90 Pedestrian - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Truck Driver Pleads Not Guilty To Killing I-90 Pedestrian

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A truck driver said he's not guilty of hitting and killing an 81-year-old Alaska man on I-90 near Big Timber last September.

David Welk, 45 pleaded not guilty to two felony charges in Sweet Grass County District court on Friday. One charge of leaving the scene of an injury accident, another charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Prosecutors said Welk can only be convicted of one of these charge. They will leave it up to a jury to decide which fits best with the facts of the case.

Prosecutors said Welk was driving a semi-truck on I-90 near Big Timber in September when his truck hit and killed Elgie Bedford, 81 of Alaska who was walking along the interstate.

"I think the state is confident. I think we found the original driver in the Bedford death," said Patrick Dringman, Sweet Grass County Attorney.

According to court documents, Welk's driving partner, Michael Karls told authorities he was in the sleeping area of the truck when he heard and felt a collision.

He asked what happened and Welk began yelling "I just hit someone."

"I was a bit surprised," said Dringman. "I think highway patrol and Trooper Hensley and Trooper Bullock did an outstanding job tracking this down."

According to Karls' statement to police, the two headed back to the area to see what they might have hit. He observed what appeared to be a bunch of clothing in the middle passing lane.

Documents state Welk told his driving partner there was just some clothing and a duffle bag in the road.

Karls said Welk was not the same after looking at the road. Charging documents said Welk told a trooper he hit a deer and repair crews he hit a hawk.

Each charge carries 10 years in prison, a fine up to $50,000 or both.

Welk is currently being held at the Gallatin County Detention on $250,000 bond.

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