One police officer and three firefighters are recovering in Great Falls after they were hit by a vehicle at the scene of a reported domestic disturbance.
It happened at about 4:45 a.m. at the Highwoods Mobile Home Trailer Park just off of 38th Street North.
Captain John Schaffer of the Great Falls Police Department said at an afternoon news briefing that they were outside of their vehicles when they were hit by a vehicle driven by someone who was not involved in the initial disturbance. Police officer Zaine O’Meara sustained serious injuries to his face and shoulder, and underwent emergency surgery at Benefis Health System hospital where he continues to recover.
Great Falls Fire Rescue chief Steve Hester said that three firefighters were injured by the vehicle; he identified two of them as Carter Marsh and Jay Jarrett. All were taken to Benefis for treatment; their injuries are not life-threatening.
Cascade County Attorney Josh Racki said the driver has been identified as Scott Allen Jenks; he was arrested at the scene and taken to the Cascade County jail. Jenks is facing three counts of negligent vehicular assault, and one count of criminal endangerment; additional charges may be filed. Racki said that according to the Montana Highway Patrol, Jenks' blood-alcohol level was "significantly above" the legal limit for driving. Bond for Jenks was set at $100,000.
The Montana Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate the circumstances of the incident.
Two officers sustained injuries in other incidents overnight. While arresting a "combative suspect" at a party, where minors were drinking alcohol, an officer sustained injuries to the arms, ribs, and a knee. The officer received medical treatment and was released.
The third injury happened when an officer fell down while chasing a DUI suspect after a traffic stop. The officer sustained minor injuries. In that incident, a car crashed into a sign pole and caused some damage to a house in the Riverview neighborhood near CMR High School. We do not yet have any additional information about that incident, but did receive viewer video and photos from the scene:
We will update you as we get more information.