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Hundreds remember the life of Big Horn County Sheriff Darrell King

King's funeral service
Posted at 11:14 AM, Nov 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-30 13:14:22-05

Hundreds remembered Big Horn County Sheriff Darrell King at a Wednesday service at Lockwood High School, which included a memorial procession that ran all the way to a cemetery in Hardin.

King was killed in a car crash on Nov. 19 on the two-lane Highway 212 near the Little Bighorn Battlefield.

"It's a horrible day to be here under these tragic circumstances," interim Big Horn County Sheriff Jeramie Middlestead said in news conference before the service. "He made a profound impact on the community and the sheriff's office."

Law enforcement agencies from around Montana, including federal, state and local officers, arrived at the school Wednesday to pay their respects.

"The sheer amount of people that are here shows the impact that Darrell had on the community," Middlestead said. "There's really not much more to say about that. It speaks for itself."

Family escorting the casket

Middlestead was among a handful who spoke during the hourlong service about King's life and career.

At the conclusion of the service, those law enforcement employees lined the sidewalk leading out of the gymnasium, saluting the family as they escorted the casket to the hearse.

That was followed by a lengthy procession, that transported King from Lockwood to the Hardin Fairview Cemetary, where he was laid to rest.

"As I have learned, the law enforcement community in Montana is extremely tight-woven," Middlestead said. "It has been incredible to see the support in this tragedy."

Middlestead was among the many in attendance fighting back tears.

Memorial Procession

"As an undersheriff, you know that one day it may happen, but you're never prepared to take over a role that someone as great as Darrell held," Middlestead said. "But I will do my best and Darrell entrusted me with that honor, and I intend to fulfill it."