Paraskier injured in Crash South of Bridger Bowl


(Gallatin County, Mont.). On 1/30/15 a 27 year old Bozeman man was paraskiing (a hybrid sport linking both skiing and paragliding) just north of Saddle Peak on National Forest Service land. On his fifth flight of the day he was flying close to the ground and he caught a wing tip on either a tree or stick causing him to crash. The male injured his knee but was able to ski on one leg to the inbounds terrain of Bridger Bowl. The male was assisted by a recreational skier and two members of the Gallatin County Search and Rescue. ####

Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Responds to Snowmobile Crash Near West Yellowstone


(Gallatin County, Mont.) Today at 12:48 pm., Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone received a report of a snowmobile accident on the Two Top Trail near junction 16 southwest of the Town of West Yellowstone.

A sixty-seven year old male from Island Park Idaho was riding a snowmobile with a group of 30 people when his snowmobile went off trail and struck a tree. The man was unconscious for approximately 10 minutes and was struggling to breathe on his own. A nurse who was traveling with the group was able to get the man to breathe on his own by simply changing his position.

The Rescuers arrived by snowmobile a short time later and were successfully able to load the man onto a rescue sled and transport him back to town and into an awaiting Hebgen Basin Fire District ambulance. The Air Idaho medical helicopter arrived on scene seven minutes later and the man was flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. The patient was conscious and breathing with no other injuries when he was transported.

Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind everyone enjoying our backcountry areas to travel with others and always carry some form of communications with you. While you don’t have to have it powered on constantly, do check it often in case someone is trying to contact you and so that you can contact others if needed.

Victim of Fatal Car Accident Identified

On 26 January 2015 shortly after 6:00 pm, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call regarding a two vehicle accident at the intersection of Frontage Road and Bullrush Avenue.  Central Valley Fire Department, American Medical Response, Montana Highway Patrol and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office responded to the accident.

The accident involved a Dodge pick-up traveling westbound on Frontage Road and a Chevrolet pick-up turning east from Bullrush Avenue.  The driver of the Dodge pick-up was released after being medically cleared at the scene.  The driver of the Chevrolet pick-up was pronounced deceased on scene.  The driver has been identified as 62 year old Ralph Giamanco of Bozeman.

Death of 6 year-old Child


  At approximately 4:46 p.m. on January 27, 2015, a 911 call was received regarding a 6 year-old, Three Forks female child, who was unconscious and not breathing in a bathtub.  The Three Forks ambulance, American Medical Response and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office responded. 

  The female child was transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital where she was pronounced deceased.  The child is being transported to the Montana State Crime Laboratory for autopsy, results are pending. 

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.

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



Missing Skier at Big Sky

(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.

New Bozeman Resident Learns Backcountry Rules at Bridger

(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