LIVINGSTON- A Park County sheriff’s deputy injured in an April head-on collision was awarded a Purple Heart medal Wednesday in Livingston, according to Sheriff Brad Bichler.
Deputy Brian Elliott-Pearson arrived home from the hospital last week for the first time and was presented with the medal and a plaque, the sheriff posted on Facebook.
Elliott-Pearson underwent three surgeries for injuries he sustained when he was struck by a passenger vehicle that veered into his lane on Highway 89 south of Livingston. The driver of the other vehicle, Shawn Schmitz, died in the wreck.
The Law Enforcement Purple Heart is given to peace officers injured while performing their duties. It is different than the Purple Heart awarded by the Department of Defense. That medal is awarded to members of the military who were wounded in action with the enemy.
***Editors note: this story was updated on 07/05/2019 to clarify the difference between the Department of Defense medal and the Law Enforcement recognition.***