Norris Road Crash Victim Identified

img_0248-6.jpeg(Gallatin County, Mont.) The Office of the Sheriff/Coroner identified the person killed in the crash on Norris Road as 25 year old Spencer Shrader of McAllister, Mt.  The crash was reported at 11:32 A.M. by a DOT employee.  The crash is being investigated by the Highway Patrol in conjunction with the Sheriff/Coroner.

 

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Back County Skier Dies in Hyalite

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(Bozeman, Mont.) On Thursday, February 4th, 2016 at 2245 hours, dispatch received a 911 call from the girlfriend of an overdue backcountry skier.  Nathaniel “Alex” Wright age 20 an MSU student from Alaska was skiing alone in the History Rock area of Hyalite Canyon and was supposed to be home by 8:30 P.M..  Temperatures overnight in Hyalite were in the single digits above zero. Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded with snowmobiles and backcountry skiers and used night vision from Reach Medical Helicopter.  At about 6:30 A.M. Rescuers located Wright deceased.  He was off the trail well north of History rock near Hyalite Creek.

Sheriff Gootkin extends his condolences to family and friends and stated, “Sometimes we let the closeness of the backcountry in Gallatin County lull us into a false sense of safety.  You may be able to see town but you really are in the back country and if something goes wrong it can turn tragic.  In this case it appears he had an equipment malfunction which led to a cascade of events ending in his death.”

Remember; be prepared to stay out over night, take a partner and let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.  The exact cause of death is being investigated by Deputy Sheriff/Coroners.

Photos courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office: Rescuers working on the Hyalite Canyon Road and the area where Wright was found.

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California Snowmobiler crashes on Two Top

  On February 2, 2016 at 1:29 p.m., the West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch received a third party 911 call reporting a snowmobiler on the Two Top trail near the Idaho border who had sustained knee and ankle injuries when the snowmobile he was riding entered a tree well and struck a tree. The snowmobiler, a 74 year old male from Huntington Beach California, was located by two other snowmobilers in his group who were able to make the 911 call.
Personnel from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, and the West Yellowstone Division of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, responded. 

A Rescue team located the group using the GPS coordinates retrieved from the 911 call. The Rescue team discovered that upon impact with the tree, the snowmobiler had sustained moderate lacerations on both knees and was complaining of lower back pain. The snowmobiler was quickly packaged onto a rescue sled for the slow ride out to rendezvous with an awaiting Hebgen Basin Fire Department ambulance. The injured snowmobiler was transported to Big Sky Medical Center for treatment.  

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind snowmobilers to know their limitations and stay on marked trails. The off trail areas are unmaintained and can be full of unseen hazards. Be alert for hazards such as tree wells or hidden stumps as which can be unpredictable and unforgiving. Always let another member of your group know if you venture off trail keeping in mind that the most dangerous situations can occur if you get injured when you are alone.  Photo courtesy of the Sheriff’s office 

 

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Name Release of Death Saturday

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(Gallatin County, Mont.) On January 30, 2016 at 12:45 A.M., emergency medical services were called to a local business on Gallatin Park Drive in Bozeman.  Two subjects, a male and female were found by employees of the business to be unresponsive.

The male was taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, but 20 year old Bozeman resident Natalie Dietrich was determined to have died on scene.  Her death is still under investigation by the Gallatin County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office and the Bozeman Police Department.  A Forensic Examination is scheduled for early next week.  ######

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Counterfeit Currency

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During the week of 01-24-16, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office received reports of at least 3 counterfeit one hundred dollar bills passed in the Big Sky area. The bills were passed in more than one business. Due to surveillance cameras in one of the local businesses a description of the two individuals and their vehicle were made available.  Upon further investigation and surveillance the two individuals were caught as they passed another counterfeit bill in one of the same businesses.  The investigation is still pending at this time.

 

If anyone or any business experiences having accepted a counterfeit bill they are advised to contact the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Gootkin recommends businesses educate themselves in detecting counterfeit currency.  He also suggests businesses obtain a special marking pen which detects counterfeit bills to avoid accepting them.

 

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Big Sky Snowmobilers Rescued

img_0248-5.jpegOn January 29th at  5:00 pm the Madison County Sheriff’s Office received a call requesting assistance from two lost 37 year old male snowmobilers. They became disoriented in the Buck Ridge Trail Area near Big Sky.  

Madison County Sheriff’s Office quickly dispatched two snowmobilers to the area and requested additional assistance from The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and members of Big Sky Search & Rescue.  

 Gallatin County Deputies and BSSAR volunteers responded immediately and a search plan was formulated.  Neither man had food, water or survival gear. It was also learned that one of the men had become stuck and had abandoned his snowmobile.  Shortly thereafter a snow storm set in on the area of operation. A rescue team was able to meet up with the lost snowmobilers and found the second snowmobile had also become stuck in heavy snow. Rescuers were able to assist those individuals in getting their snowmobiles free and escorted them back to the Doe Creek Trailhead. Neither of the men sustained physical injury, but both were very tired and in need of water.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind snowmobilers that since snowmobiling often occurs in remote locations; it is important to learn what to do if you become stranded and how to keep warm in changing terrain and weather conditions. It is also extremely important that you carry at least one reliable source of communication, such as a cell phone or emergency GPS satellite messaging device. Being able to communicate with your travel companions and emergency responders can save lives.

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(Bozeman, Mont.)

Gallatin County Sheriff/Coroner Brian Gootkin announced today that on January 24, 2016 at 01:33 am, Manny Kalfell was pronounced deceased at his S. Rouse residence. 

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Fire Victim Identified

On Wednesday, January 20, 2016, at 5:50 AM, the Gallatin County Coroner’s Office was notified of a death on Ivan Street in Bozeman. 44 year-old Rosanna Yvette De La Cruz was found deceased in her partially burned home.

The death is under investigation by our office and the Bozeman Police Department.

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Being Prepared to Spend the Night Out – Good, Not Telling Someone Where You are Going – Not so Good

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(West Yellowstone, Mont.)

On January 20, 2016 at 7:00 a.m., the West Yellowstone Police Department dispatch center received a call reporting five snowmobilers who had not returned home from the previous day’s ride.  The caller was the wife of one of the riders.  Attempts to contact his cell phone and the phones of his riding companions went unanswered.  The wife advised that she did not know where they had gone riding, but that they were experienced riders and had survival gear.

Personnel from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and the West Yellowstone Division of the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to search for the missing snowmobilers.  Responders were able to locate the vehicle and snowmobile trailer of one of the missing riders in the Beaver Creek Trailhead area, approximately 20 miles northwest of West Yellowstone.  Search and Rescue personnel on snowmobiles were able to locate the missing snowmobilers a few miles up the trail from the trailhead.

Four of the missing snowmobilers were from Minnesota and one was from Florida, and was also a part time resident of West Yellowstone.  They were all experienced snowmobilers and had a very good knowledge of the area.  They had been backcountry riding the previous afternoon in a deep bowl at the head of Beaver Creek and were unable to climb back out.  After several attempts, and with the sun having gone down, they decided to make camp for the night.  They all had survival gear; they built a fire, and enjoyed an evening in Gallatin County’s backcountry.  In the morning, they were able to find a route out of the bowl they were in and worked their way back out to the trail where they meet up with Search and Rescue personnel.  All of the riders had cell phones, but were in an area with no reception.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind snowmobilers that since snowmobiling often occurs in remote locations, tell someone where you plan on going and when you expect to be out.  It is important to learn what to do if you become stranded.  Proper clothing, survival gear, and a reliable means of communication should be mandatory.  A cellular phone can be a terrific asset if trouble arises, but bear in mind that cell phones have limited service range.  If you are going into the backcountry, consider a satellite phone or an emergency messenger device as well.  In this case, the riders knowledge of what to do and the survival gear they were carrying, allowed them to survive the evening in winter conditions.

Beaver Cr search 1-2016

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Avalanche Victim Identified

On January 19, 2016, at approximately 4:09P.M., the Gallatin County Sheriff`s Office received a call from Big Sky Medical Clinic advising they were receiving an avalanche victim who did not survive.

A Deputy Coroner responded to the Big Sky Medical Clinic and identified the 34 year-old male resident of Big Sky as Darren Johnson. Even though there were rescuers on scene in a very short time period after the avalanche, they were unable to revive the patient.

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