Posted: Sep 26, 2013 9:40 PM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News
Updated: Sep 26, 2013 9:41 PM
UPDATE: 9:39 p.m.
HELENA - A 29-year-old Helena man (pictured above) was killed after being struck by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bike on Montana Avenue late Wednesday night.
Benjamin John Homan was pronounced dead shortly after he was taken to the hospital.
The man who hit him, is charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence.
The accident was called in around 10:40 p.m. on Wednesday, after a bicyclist was struck from behind by a car on North Montana Avenue near Resurrection Cemetery.
The accident proved to be fatal.
Coroner Mickey Nelson with Lewis and Clark County, said, "He died from traumatic internal head injuries that at this point appear to be the main cause of his death. His name is Benjamin John Homen, he's 29 years of age."
"The vehicle originally stopped after the impact and then fled the scene," Nelson said.
Sheriff Leo Dutton said, "A silver 1990 Eagle Summit and it was located at the suspects home."
According to authorities the driver of the silver car reportedly drove another three blocks to his home and then walked back to the scene of the accident eventually turning himself in.
Dutton said, "The individual who hit the bicyclist did come back to the scene and was later arrested."
The man driving the car, 49-year-old Joel Brett Powers of Helena, appeared in Justice court by way of video as his family members listened to his charges.
Powers is accused of vehicular homicide while under the influence, a felony, which holds a sentence up to 30 years and up to a $50,000 fine.
He was also charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving a death, which holds a maximum sentence of 10 years; and misdemeanor aggravated driving under the influence.
A breathalyzer test showed a Blood Alcohol result of .25. Despite a rainstorm, Homan was reportedly riding in fully visible and reflective clothing including a helmet.
The remains of his bicycle reflectors still remained on the sidewalk where paramedics worked nearby to keep him alive.
"The highway patrol is assisting us in this investigation. We also have a detective working the investigation." Sheriff Dutton said.
The car involved in the accident was impounded by the Highway Patrol. Powers bond was set at $50,000.