Double Search and Rescue Calls for Big Sky Friday

(Big Sky, Mont.) Friday morning at 11:21 Gallatin County 911 received a report of an injured hiker on Cinnamon Creek Trail south of Big Sky.  The caller reported his wife found a 27 yr old woman two miles up the trail, unconscious with an injured leg.  The caller told the Sheriff’s Deputy he was communicating with his wife through a Garmin In-Reach text message device.  Sheriff’s Search and Rescue at Big Sky and the Big Sky Fire Department were dispatched. In addition the REACH medical helicopter and the Sheriff’s Heli Rescue team were launched.  Rescuers on foot and ATV located her at 1:34pm.  She had recovered somewhat and was alert and oriented when they arrived.  The responding helicopters were canceled because her condition had improved.  It was discovered that she was carrying a forty pound pack and when a fox ran out in front of her, she pivoted and dislocated her hip.  A Big Sky Fire Paramedic who is also a Search and Rescue member assessed the injured hiker and administered medication.  She was packaged on a one wheeled rescue litter and transported back to the Cinnamon Creek Trail head to a waiting Big Sky Fire Ambulance.  She was taken to the Big Sky Medical Center.

Later that day, at 10:30 P.M. Sheriff’s Search and Rescue at Big Sky and a Deputy responded to a search at Portal Creek.  A 26-year-old male was 5 hours overdue after becoming separated from the rest of his party following an overnight camping trip.  His experience level and the terrain indicated the need for a search.  He was located by ground rescuers shortly after 1 A.M..  He did not need medical attention but was given water.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin said, “Nature is a funny thing.  Even the most prepared and expert hikers can’t predict getting startled by a fox, twisting wrong and blowing out a hip.  That is an injury that you need help to get out with.  Get out, be healthy and responsibly enjoy great mountain living.  When you do make sure you have the gear and communication that allows us to help you when nature does her thing.  Enjoy the back country with other people when possible, stay together when hiking and carry a means of communication with you.

Photo courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office: Wheeled liter transport of Cinnamon Creek Rescue.

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Prepared Group in Sage Creek Helps Get North Carolina Man to Hospital

(Gallatin County, Mont.)

Monday at 8:30 p.m., a Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputy received a call via two-way radio from a Gallatin County Search and Rescue volunteer reporting that a member of his horseback group was experiencing stroke like symptoms. The group of nine riders were located  nine miles up the Sage Creek trail and requested a medivac for the 36-year-old male from Sanford, North Carolina.

Due to the remote location as well as information that the male had previously suffered a stroke, the decision was made to launch a helicopter out of Bozeman. Rescuers from  Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in Big Sky and a helicopter from Reach Helicopters responded.

Reach was able to land at a spot located and marked with  GPS by the Search and Rescue volunteer on scene. The medivac team then transported the male to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for evaluation.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to commend the group for being so well prepared for such an event by carrying with them a highly reliable means of communication, survival gear and a GPS. The backcountry in this area is extremely remote and can be unforgiving. Emergency location beacons and GPS’s are invaluable should you or someone you are with become stranded, lost or injured.

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Buck Ridge Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont.)  On Thursday July 12, 2018 at 2:54 pm., the Gallatin County Dispatch Center received a call reporting an injured ATV rider ten miles up from the Buck Ridge Trailhead south of Big Sky. The injured party, a 32-year-old male from California, had sustained a shoulder and rib injuries when the ATV he was a passenger in rolled while trail riding.

Personnel from the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in Big Sky responded on ATV’s and motorcycles, complete with all the necessary rescue gear and emergency medical equipment.

Rescuers met the injured party at the scene of the crash approximately one hour after the initial call for help.  The injured male was traveling with a group of friends who were also on ATV’s.  After an initial assessment of his injuries, rescue personal braced and secured his shoulder and loaded him onto one of their rescue ATV’s.  The patient was transported back to the trailhead and turned over to family members, who then transported him to the Big Sky Medical Center for treatment.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind ATV riders to use caution when recreating in the backcountry, even when on a marked trail.  Changing terrain and trail conditions can sometimes bring unexpected problems to a fun day of backcountry riding.  Always remember to ride with a partner and carry a reliable means of communication in case of an emergency.

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Quinn Creek Fugitive Apprehended

At about 1:30 PM, Shaunsey Cole, the target of a multi-agency manhunt, was taken into custody near Quinn Creek Road, in Park County.

Multiple law enforcement officers from several agencies were in the area searching for Cole when a homeowner called 911, stating that Cole was attempting to get access to her residence.

Officers responded to the area and K-9 teams began to track the subject. The teams apprehended Cole a short time later. Cole was medically cleared and transported to the Park County Jail. He will be charged with attempted homicide for shooting at Park County deputies. He has other warrants pending as well. A GCSAR search dog later found his gun.

This ended a 36-hour search that included law enforcement personnel from Park County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Bozeman Police, Livingston Police, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Billings Police Department, Montana State University Police, FBI, and ATF.

Aircraft support throughout the operation was provided by Two Bear Air, Ridge View Aviation, Department of Homeland Security, Montana Highway Patrol, Galt Ranch, and the Yellowstone National Park Service.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

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Quinn Creek Incident Suspect Identified

Law enforcement is currently searching for Shaunesy Cole in relation to the incident on Quinn Creek this morning.  Cole is a 36 year old white male, 5′ 11″ tall, 170 lbs with a red mohawk haircut.  Law enforcement is actively searching for Cole in the Quinn Creek area.  If Cole is located, do not approach and call 911.

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Updated – Law Enforcement Looking for Armed Suspect

Law Enforcement is currently searching for an unknown subject in the Quinn Creek area of Bozeman Pass who was involved in a shooting with law enforcement earlier this evening.  Suspect is a white male with a red mohawk that is pressed down.  The suspect is considered armed and dangerous.  If seen, do not approach and call 911 immediately.

This release has been amended to reflect updated suspect information.

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Armed Suspect in Quinn Creek Area

This is a message from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. An armed suspect is currently being looked for by law enforcement in the Quinn Creek area on Bozeman Pass. The suspect was involved in a shootout with law enforcement and is now on foot in the area. Everyone in the area is to remain inside their houses with their doors locked and do not open your doors. Law enforcement is currently searching the area and will be moving around the houses. If someone who is not a law enforcement officer in uniform approaches your home, call 911. More information will be provided when it is available. This message was sent at 2:30 am on July 11th.

This message was posted automatically from the Community Notification System.

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Bozeman Man Dies on Jefferson River

(Gallatin County, Mont.)

Sunday morning at 11:45 , Sheriff’s Office Deputies, Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Three Forks Fire, Willow Creek Fire, AMR and REACH Air Medical responded to a report of an unresponsive man in the Jefferson River whose kayak had flipped at the diversion dam, just south of the Sappington Bridge. Rescuers found 72 year old Bruce Vanlandingham of Bozeman on an island between Sappington Junction and Williams Bridge.   CPR was in progress when responders arrived and continued until the man was pronounced deceased at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. Cause of death is being investigated by the Office of the Sheriff/Coroner.

Sheriff Gootkin stated, “Two people were out on calm water doing everything right and tragedy still struck.” The Sheriff would like to remind floaters that accidents can happen on the calmest of waters.  Ensure you float with a partner, wear a PFD and carry some form of communication in a waterproof container so you can call for help if needed.  Photos courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office.



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Belgrade Death Investigation

(Belgrade, Mont.) On June, 30, 2018 at approximately 10:00 AM, Belgrade Police Officers were dispatched to the 300 block of 9th Street as it was reported a male subject was trapped under the hood of a vehicle.  Officers responded and located an adult male victim who was pronounced dead at the scene.  This matter is still under investigation pending a report from the Medical Examiner’s Office. The identity of the victim has not yet been released by the Gallatin County Coroner’s Office.  Any further questions can be directed to the Gallatin County Coroner’s Office or Detective Sergeant Dustin Lensing with the Belgrade Police Department (406)388-4262.

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Great One Rescue

Wednesday was a busy day for Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. Late morning, a mutual aid call came in from Stillwater County; Two Bear Air was in the Bozeman area for a meeting with local SAR teams and was diverted to Stillwater.

Shortly after noon, Dispatch received a call about a man who had fallen while skiing the Great One and hurt himself in the slide. Search and Rescue teams and a helicopter contracted with SAR responded. The SAR helicopter transported the man to an AMR ambulance waiting at the bottom. Another skier was unable to get down safely and was given a ride to the bottom.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind everyone that even experienced skiers can get into trouble on the Great One. Both skiers made good decisions in asking for help. If you plan to ski the Great One, don’t go before 11 am, to give it time to soften up enough to get an edge. Hike up the run to check conditions so you know what you are getting into. Always ski with at least one other person who can call for help.

Photos courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

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