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Motorist drives into jail


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A Billings woman crashed her vehicle into the Hill County Detention Center Jan. 1, causing damage to the building, the Hill County Sheriff's Office said today.

Hill County Sheriff Greg Szudera said Russan Sterrett lost control of a 1995 Chevrolet van at 9:30 a.m. and collided with the east wall of the detention center. Sterrett was traveling west on Second Street West when the van slipped on icy roads, the release said. The van went into a ditch, over an enbankment, and struck a curb. The vehicle became airborne, collided with the detention center, and did not stop.

"The van continued to go south towards the property line of the detention facility, turned around and drove back to the street and left the scene of the crash," the release said.

Szudera said Thursday the vehicle's license plate fell off as a result of the collision and was lying on the ground when officers examined the scene of the crash.

"The Montana Highway Patrol investigated the accident," he said. "Having the license plate expedited the investigation."

Sterrett was found in Havre and was cited for driving without a license, careless driving, failure to carry proof of insurance, and failure to give notice of an accident by the quickest means.

Szudera said the cost of repair to the building had not been determined, although he expects "the taxpayers will be footing the bill on this one."


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