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Court upholds $618K restitution in crash that led to woman's leg amputation


HELENA, Montana — The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that a Bigfork man pay over $618,000 in restitution to a woman whose leg was amputated after a vehicle crash.

Brent Passwater's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit when he turned left off Montana Highway 83 in July 2012, striking a motorcycle carrying Bryce and Lynn Boot. Her left leg had to be amputated below the knee while Bryce Boot suffered broken toes and smashed knees.

The court ruling filed Thursday says Passwater failed to prove the restitution ordered was based on speculation. It included money for lost wages, medical bills and prosthetics for Lynn Boot.

Passwater was sentenced in 2014 to four years with the Department of Corrections followed by six years of probation after pleading guilty to negligent vehicular assault.

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