DOJ: News Release

Highway Patrol Trooper David Graham Killed in Crash

HELENA – Montana Highway Patrol Trooper David Graham died in the line of duty Tuesday morning on U.S. Highway 2 and Reserve Drive, about two miles north of Kalispell.

Around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Graham, 36, was southbound on Highway 2 when a Dodge pickup traveling northbound drifted across the center turn lane and into the southbound lane. Graham was hit head-on and died at the scene.

One other victim was taken to Kalispell Regional Medical Center by ground ambulance. The crash is under investigation.

Traffic was rerouted until about 3:15 p.m.

Also Tuesday, there was a second, unrelated crash involving two passenger cars within about one mile of the one involving Graham. That crash was at Rose Crossing and Highway 2.

Graham is originally from Kalispell and joined the MHP in August 2006. He is survived by his wife and three young children.

“We lost a colleague, a fine man and a good officer. He loved his job,” said Lt. Colonel Mike Tooley. “He was doing what he did every day.

“The best thing we can do for David is to keep doing what we’re here to do,” Tooley said. “We’re not going to forget him. We’ll do our best job in his honor.”

Graham becomes just the fifth Highway Patrol trooper to die in the line of duty in the Patrol’s 72-year history.

  • November 2, 1946 – Patrolman Robert Steele was responding to a report of an armed robbery in Billings. The suspects were headed east on Highway 10. Steele and another trooper spotted the getaway car parked in a ravine off the roadway. The troopers approached the car on the passenger’s side and Steele was shot in the neck.
  • July 24, 1954 – Officer James Anderson had pulled over a driver on the Bozeman Hill. A vehicle coming from the opposite direction struck Anderson.
  • July 19, 1973 – South of Kalispell, Officer Richard Hedstrom was writing a warning ticket when he was struck and killed by a pickup. Hedstrom had been on the road less than three weeks following recruit academy.
  • April 8, 1978 – Officer Michael Ren was shot and killed near Eureka. Ren was trying to arrest a man on an outstanding warrant. Ren pulled the suspect over and approached the vehicle with his gun drawn. The suspect pulled a rifle and shot Ren.

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