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November 12, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Oak Harbor woman charged with leaving scene of Montana crash

The Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. — The investigation into the death of an Alaska man on Interstate 90 in south-central Montana continues, but officials are charging a Washington state woman with striking the man’s remains in the road and washing them off at a carwash 40 miles away.

Wyran V. Young, 31, of Oak Harbor, was charged with failure to remain at the scene of a fatal accident in Sweet Grass County, and tampering with evidence, alleging she washed the man’s remains off the pickup in Livingston, which is in Park County. Her father, Westley L. Young, 50, was charged in Park County with tampering with evidence for his role in helping his daughter wash his pickup truck.

Park County Attorney Brett Linneweber said the charges were filed Friday and the Youngs were served with the charges Tuesday. They were ordered to appear in District Court in Big Timber on Dec. 10 for an initial appearance and arraignment.

There is no phone listing for Westley or Wyran Young in Oak Harbor and Linneweber said he did not know if they have an attorney who could comment.

Officials are still investigating the cause of death for Elgie Bedford, 81, of Wasilla, Alaska.

Charging documents say Bedford’s badly damaged body was found on the roadway Sept. 30 and it appeared he had been struck by several vehicles. That same day, a Livingston resident reported finding a body part at a carwash.

The Montana Highway Patrol investigated both reports and linked the body part found at the carwash to the remains on the highway, court records said. Investigators found other remains at the carwash.

Investigators spoke with a clerk at a gas station just south of Livingston who said a black pickup truck pulling a trailer pulled in to the gas station early Sept. 30 and she overheard the female driver tell a male passenger, “I think I ran over some furniture, there is material hanging beneath the truck.”

The man asked the clerk where the nearest carwash was, and the clerk directed then to the one where the body part was found later in the day. A credit card purchase at the gas station was made by Wyran Young and the clerk identified her from her driver’s license photograph, court records said. Surveillance video captured the license plate of the truck, which was registered to Westley Young, court records said.

When Island County authorities arrived to question the Youngs on Oct. 6, Wyran Young ran into the house and yelled, “Mom, dad, the police are here about Montana!” court records said.

A few moments later, Westley Young said, “The semi ahead of us hit the guy first.”

Westley Young’s pickup was seized, and officials with the Washington State Patrol said the undercarriage showed clear evidence of human tissue, bones and DNA, court records said.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: accident, leaving the scene of a crash, Oak Harbor

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