August 8 2013

– An apparent case of road rage that involved speeds of higher than 85 mph on U.S. Highway 93 ended in felony criminal endangerment charges against two Hamilton residents.

Andrea Jeanne Bunnell, 37, and Robert Wayne McCoy, 40, appeared before Ravalli County Justice of the Peace Jim Bailey Wednesday.

Bailey set bail for both at $25,000.

Court records said the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office received a report on July 24 that a woman saw a white station wagon change lanes twice while almost striking a black motorcycle as it traveled northbound on Highway 93.

The witness then saw the motorcycle driver pull up alongside the station wagon and make an obscene gesture at its driver.

After the station wagon appeared to swerve toward the motorcycle, its rider accelerated and split lanes between two vehicles in what the witness believed to be an attempt to get away from the station wagon.

A couple of minutes later, Sheriff’s Detective Dave Potter was accelerating on the highway northbound, after being stopped at the traffic signal at Woodside Cutoff Road, when a station wagon passed him at a high rate of speed.

The station wagon was being chased by a black motorcycle at that time.

Potter saw the two vehicles put other drivers at risk by tailgating, passing traffic over double yellow lines, passing in between vehicles and passing vehicles on the right side of the road.

Potter turned on his emergency lights and sirens and began pursuit, but couldn’t maintain the chase due to the high speed the vehicles were traveling.

The vehicles were speeding well in excess of 85 mph, court records said.

Later that evening, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper confronted Bunnell at Mission Bistro in Stevensville, where she is employed. She initially denied the incident, but court records said she later told her probation officer that she had lied to the law enforcement officers who had questioned her.

Bunnell is currently on felony probation.

McCoy also denied speeding or driving erratically when questioned. He did admit that he did not have a valid motorcycle endorsement on the day he operated the motorcycle, court records said.

At the time of the incident, McCoy was out on bail awaiting a September trial on drug charges.

McCoy was arrested last September after Hamilton police allegedly found more than twice the legal amount of marijuana allowed to a medical marijuana provider at McCoy’s home. The search followed the police detainment of McCoy’s daughter, who allegedly distributed marijuana-laced candy on a school bus.

In addition to the felony criminal endangerment charge in this most recent case, McCoy also faces misdemeanor counts of obstructing a police officer, fleeing from a police officer and driving while license is suspended or revoked.

Besides the felony count, Bunnell was charged with misdemeanor obstructing a police officer and fleeing from a police officer.

– Perry Backus


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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