NewsCrime and Courts


Butte woman accused of driving drunk in a crash that killed her mother

Esparanza Montoya is charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence.
Posted at 4:43 PM, Jun 18, 2024

A Butte woman is in custody, accused of killing her mother in a vehicle crash while driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana in Park County.

Esparanza Montoya, 18, is charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence in connection with the fatal crash that happened in December 2023.

Montoya was arrested in Butte on a warrant out of Park County and appeared in Butte Justice Court on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

Charging documents say that around 5 p.m. on December 15, 2023, Montoya was driving at 99 miles per hour on Old Clyde Park Road when she crashed near the intersection at Calvary Road.

Montoya’s SUV reportedly left the roadway and went airborne for approximately 40 feet. After striking the ground, the vehicle struck a fence and rolled over multiple times before coming to rest on its roof.

Montoya's mother, 50-year-old Vanetta Montoya, died at the scene.

Woman accused of driving drunk in crash that killed her mother appears in court

A 12-year-old girl was injured and taken to the hospital.

Charging documents did not state the girl’s relationship to either Esparanza or Vanetta Montoya.

According to charging documents, law enforcement found several opened and unopened bottles of Fireball whiskey, along with a pipe for smoking marijuana in Montoya’s vehicle.

Her blood alcohol level was allegedly 0.139, with a positive test for THC in the amount of 3.3 NGML.

Montoya faces a charge of criminal child endangerment in addition to the vehicular homicide count. In court on Tuesday, Justice of the Peace Jimm Kilmer set her bail amount at $100,000.

The Park County Attorney is expected to request that Montoya be extradited to Park County to face the charges.