Missoula Co. Sheriff’s Office honored for response to deadly I-90 crash

Posted at 4:35 PM, Jul 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-02 18:21:34-04

MISSOULA – Veteran Montana Highway Patrol troopers say a crash on an icy Interstate 90 involving five semi-trucks that jackknifed was one of the worst they’ve ever seen.

One of the law enforcement agencies that responded to the crash was honored for their assistance on Monday. The Montana Highway Patrol presented the Missoula County Sheriff’s office with a plaque showing their gratitude.

“Probably one of the first presentations since I’ve been sheriff where another law enforcement agency has taken the time to reach out with a plaque or something that’s going to last for a long time and represent our office well. So it’s a very nice gesture and very much appreciated,” Missoula County Sheriff TJ McDermott said.

On that terrible December morning on I-90 near Superior, the first semi lost control and its load of lumber spilled, completely blocking eastbound lanes and forced another semi into the westbound lane.

MHP Honor
MHP Captain James Kitchin (L) and Missoula Co. Sheriff TJ McDermott (R) (MTN News photo)

Two people were killed and two others were seriously hurt in the wreck, including a Frenchtown firefighter.

MHP Captain James Kitchin says this is just one of many examples of great interagency team-work they see all the time.

“Besides this incident here — we just had one last week. We had a suicidal male who was involved in a pursuit. Their deputy responded went out there with his K9,” Capt. Kitchin said.

“That situation remained under control and he was arrested without incident, without loss of life things went well. But that’s because fish and game was there,” he added.

Capt. Kitchin says that the Frenchtown firefighter who was injured in the Dec. 19 crash is already back to work and is doing well.

They also gave a plaque to the Mineral County Sheriff’s office for their assistance at the crash scene.

Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News