Highway Patrol Trooper Evan Schneider Killed in Crash
HELENA – Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Evan Schneider died in the line of duty Tuesday night on Highway 2 near Columbia Falls. A second man died in the crash and a woman was gravely injured.
The crash happened around 7:15 p.m., Tuesday, between Columbia Falls and Hungry Horse. Schneider had been westbound and observed a violation with an oncoming vehicle. He turned around and headed eastbound with his emergency lights on. He overtook two vehicles in the multi-lane section of roadway, and had entered the two-lane section when his vehicle collided with a westbound pickup truck in the eastbound lane. Schneider and a male occupant in the pickup died at the scene.
The cause of the crash is under investigation. Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office at 758-5610. The names of the other victims have not been released pending notification of relatives.
Schneider, who would have turned 30 in early September, joined the MHP in January 2004. He lived in Kalispell, and is survived by his wife Carrie. His brother James is also a trooper, also stationed in the Kalispell district.
“Although the work we do takes us to every corner of the state, the Patrol is a small, close-knit organization,” said MHP Colonel Paul Grimstad. “We lost a colleague and a good man. Evan will be missed.”
Schneider becomes the sixth Highway Patrol trooper to die in the line of duty in the Patrol’s 73-year history, but the second to die in less than a year. On Oct. 9, 2007, trooper David Graham died in a crash about two miles north of Kalispell, when a vehicle crossed a turn lane and hit him head-on.
- 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.