Death of Big Sky Child

On January 15, 2015, the Gallatin County Coroner’s Office was contacted by Yellowstone County regarding the death of a six year old boy from Big Sky.  The preliminary diagnosis indicated that the child died of complications due to parainfluenza.

Subsequent information from the forensic pathologist has led us to conclude that the child died from a blunt force injury to the head. His manner of death is ruled as accidental, therefore the Coroner and not the Sheriff’s Office will continue in an effort to determine what event may have led to this injury.

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Pair of Search and Rescue Calls in the Bridgers Saturday

IMG_0248.JPG(Gallatin County, Mont.)  Saturday January 17th at 12:50 p.m. Sheriff’s Search and Rescue units were sent to the Saddle Peak Cliffs North of Bozeman to rescue a 19 year old MSU student that was stranded on the cliffs and in danger of falling 200 feet. The female skier and her partner skied under the rope and out of bounds near Schlasman’s lift on the south end of Bridger Bowl. The student ended up getting stuck in a precarious position on the Saddle Peak Cliffs after crashing and losing both skis which went over the cliff. Members of Search and Rescue already at Bridger Bowl and Ski Patrol responded to the scene and were able to access the skier by rappelling down the cliff face. The rescuers were able to assist her with getting back up the hill utilizing ropes.

At 4:50 the same day Bridger Bowl received a report of lost skiers outside of the ski area boundary. Search and Rescue units and Ski Patrol still in the area were able to locate them quickly by snowmobile and guide them back into the ski boundary.

Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind skiers to ski with a partner, know the area you will be in, ski within your limits and always be aware of the avalanche danger which can be checked at mtavalanche.com.

 

 

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Missing Skier at Big Sky

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(Big Sky, Mont.)
On Sunday 01/04/15 at 2:17 p.m. Sheriff’s Search and Rescue units from Big Sky and personnel from the Big Sky Ski Patrol conducted a search for a 20 year old male that was reported missing. The male had been skiing at the Big Sky Resort on 01/03/15 and was last seen around 1:00 p.m. Saturday and had missed work according to the reporting party.

After an extensive investigation by Sheriff’s Deputies, it was determined that the male was possibly still on the mountain. Big Ski Resort employees notified the Sheriff’s Office that the male’s ski pass had been scanned at the Swift Current ski lift at 2:15 p.m. With that information, Big Sky Ski patrol sprang into action checking every ski run and warming hut that could be accessed by the ski lift.

At approximately 4: 25 p.m., Big Sky Ski Patrol personnel located the male unharmed and in good health.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the outstanding professionals that volunteer their time to make sure that a lost or missing person makes it home safely.

Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind everyone to let people know where you are going, who you will be with, and when to expect you to return. Another good tip is to carry some form of communications with you and while you don’t have to have it powered on constantly, do check it often in case someone is trying to contact you.

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New Bozeman Resident Learns Backcountry Rules at Bridger

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(Gallatin County, Mont.)
On 03 January 2015 at 1:40 p.m. a 22 year old male new resident of Bozeman called 911 to report he had gotten lost while snowboarding at Bridger Bowl. The man had started down from Schlasman’s lift on the south end of Bridger Bowl and had inadvertently gone out of bounds after separating from his friends. He exited the ski area boundary to the south. Members of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue already in the area created a hasty search team and began tracking the man’s route. He was located at 2:40 p.m and escorted back to the ski area where he was reunited with his friends. Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind skiers to ski with a partner, know the area you will be in, ski within your limits and always be aware of the avalanche danger which can be checked at mtavalanche.com.

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Ice Jam on Gallatin River near Big Sky

GCEM Media Release HeaderMedia Release:  141231-01
Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 599-7881

Ice Jam on Gallatin River near Big Sky

Big Sky, MT - An ice jam has developed on the Gallatin River in the area of US191 and Lone Mountain Trail (MT64/ Spur Road).  This blockage has recently opened up allowing water to flow more freely, however it is very possible the river will become blocked again.  People down river (North) of Big Sky who are near the river should utilize caution and stay clear of the river channel.  Ice jams are capable of quickly breaching which results in a sudden lease of water and debris that can be dangerous to those in the way.  Recreational users are encourage to stay clear of the river channel and utilize caution when in the area.

Water has begun flooding out of the river channel upriver of the jam in the area of Frenchman Road.  Residents in the affected area are encouraged to take actions to protect their property before flooding occurs.  Once a property has been affected by flooding, it is often too late to adequately protect it.  If you think you may be affected by flooding, you should prepare now.

In 2012 the release of an ice jam was caught on video along the Gallatin River.  This video is available on YouTube at http://youtu.be/BmNdCH42tFE.

Photos of Gallatin River on 12/31/14 at 16:00 hrs

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 Photos & Video Courtesy of Bill Farhat, Big Sky Fire Department

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(Gallatin County, Mont.). Friday at 1:40 p.m. it was reported to Bridger Bowl ski patrol that a 13 year old male from Livingston had skied out of bounds and was missing. He was last seen coming off Schlasman’s lift and exiting the boundary area to the south. Members of the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue already in the area created a hasty search team and began tracking the male’s route. He had made his way back to the resort at about 1:30. Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind skiers to ski with a partner, know the area you will be in, ski within your limits and always be aware of the avalanche danger which can be checked at mtavalanche.com. ###

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A Little Christmas Present for Skiers

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(Gallatin County, Mont.)  The pair of cross county skiers that Sheriff’s Search and Rescue volunteers located during the night made it out about 5:00 this morning.  The 2 locals had planned on spending 3 days at the Fox Creek cabin.  After spending all day skiing into the area south of Bozeman they were unable to locate the notoriously difficult- to-find Forest Service rental chateau.  With darkness, a snow storm and exhaustion descending on them, they set up camp about a quarter mile short of their destination.  This is where the Sheriff comes into our story.  The young woman travels internationally and luckily was equipped with a satellite location and limited messaging device known as a SPOT.  Her mother received text messages from the device and got conflicting “I’m Ok” followed by “help” texts starting at about 5:30 last night.  The family has a plan and protocol when she travels internationally but did not have a plan for this circumstance.  Sheriff Gootkin states “Being a parent, it is understandable–you get a help message from your daughter, even when you think it could be a mistake, what do you do? You try to help her.  That’s where we come in.  About 15 rescuers worked through the night because that is what they do.  In Gallatin County we have had only 3 or 4 SPOT help activations in the last several years; most were not intentional.  We are glad this story ended happily. This is an opportunity for us to remind people to take some time and fully understand the safety devices they have and to make sure the people that are getting the messages know what the messages mean and how you plan to confirm the status.”  He added “get out and enjoy the fresh snow today and make sure to thank a SAR volunteer if you see them.”

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Christmas Eve Search for Skiers

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Update: at 12:30 A.M. Rescue Skiers checked the cabin and found it unoccupied.  A short time later they located the two subjects of the search.  They were uninjured.  They were located near where the SPOT beacon gave as a last location about 6:00 P.M. approximately 5 miles south of the South Cottonwood trail head.  Because of the difficult communications in that area the exact details of their circumstance will not be know until later.  Rescuers are assisting the two with packing their gear and will be escorting them out of the area and back to their vehicle at the trail head.

 

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Tonight at about 6:00 p.m. Sheriff’s Search and Rescue units were dispatched to the area of Fox Creek south of Bozeman.  The mother of a 22 year old Bozeman woman had received an emergency message for her daughter’s SPOT beacon.  Her daughter and a 23 year old male companion left the S. Cottonwood trail head this morning at 7:00 A.M. with the intent of spending 3 days at the Fox Creek Forest Service Cabin.  The SPOT beacon indicated that their location was within a 1/2 mile of the cabin.  Currently it is snowing but temperatures remain in the 20s.  Rescuers including 4 snowmobiles transporting 3 skiers to the top of Langhor ridge where the skiers will then access the Fox Creek area.  Once in the area they will attempt to make contact with the party and verify the emergency and provide assistance if needed.  Further updates will be posed on this page but will not create a new notification.  Check www.gallatinmedia.org for any updates.

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Central Park Area Evacuations Lifted

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As of 10:00 P.M. tonight all the evacuations in the Central Park Area West of Belgrade have been lifted.  Residents are allowed to return to their homes.

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Frontage Road Near Central Park is Open

IMG_0248.JPGAs of 9:40 p.m. the Frontage Road near Central Park that was closed due to the fire is now open.

 

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