Highway Patrol Honors Sheriff’s Deputy After Career Ending Injury
On December 28, 2014, a harrowing traffic accident involving numerous vehicles and several law enforcement officers occurred on I-90 near Frenchtown that severely injured the driver of one vehicle and placed lives in danger due to traffic that refused to slow down in the icy conditions.
In addition, one Missoula Sheriff's Deputy, Will Newsom, sustained a career ending injury.
On Friday, Montana Highway Patrol Chief, Colonel Tom Butler, presented Newsom, now retired, with a Meritorious Service Award for his actions during that incident.
"Back on December 28th of 2014, Deputy Newsom was assisting us with a disaster out on the interstate," Butler said. "The accident occurred near Frenchtown during a snowstorm where there were numerous near-misses where people could have easily been killed. As a part of Deputy Newsom's work that day, he was involved in a collision as he was attempting to slow traffic, He was standing in front of a vehicle when it was struck by a another vehicle and it slid forward and struck him which resulted in career ending injuries."
Butler praised the work of all law enforcement agencies in time of crisis.
"Law enforcement works in Montana because of the cooperation from all of the departments and agencies, and no department has enough officers to handle all the incidents that occur. So, we elected to recognize Deputy Newsom for his great work that day, and presented him with a Meritorious Service Award from the Montana Highway Patrol."
Butler said the video that came out of that tragic accident has been seen by thousands of people all over the world, hopefully convincing drivers to slow down when approaching an accident scene, especially during such hazardous conditions.
"We worked extensively with the family involved in the crash to get a release from them to use that video," he said. "It's been my experience that even out of dark and gloom, some good comes, and that is clearly something positive out of this. That video has been seen thousands of times and we have received emails from around the world. You never can measure the effectiveness, but we hope that video helped change driving behaviors that may ultimately save a life."
Please view the video by clicking on the KGVO story here.