DOJ: News Release

Trooper Mike Haynes, 28, Dies of Injuries from Head-On Collision

‘The Highway Patrol has lost a brother and Montana has lost a hero,’ Bullock says

KALISPELL – Shortly before 8:30 AM, Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Haynes passed away from injuries received in the line of duty. Haynes had been hospitalized as a result of a crash near Kalispell early Monday morning.

Haynes, 28, was sworn in as a trooper with the Montana Highway Patrol in August 2006. He is survived by his wife Tawny, his two young children Taryn and Elias, and his parents, John and Melody Haynes of Kalispell.

“Mike Haynes lived his values, and loved his job and his family. You couldn’t ask for a better trooper or man,” said Colonel Mike Tooley, head of the Highway Patrol. “Montanans should be proud that someone of Mike’s caliber was working for them. He will be missed.”

“The Highway Patrol has lost a brother and Montana has lost a hero. Our prayers tonight will be for Mike’s young family,” Attorney General Steve Bullock said. “Today and this weekend, I encourage all Montanans to honor and pray for the men and women who work in these dangerous occupations to make our lives safer. We also need to reflect on the devastating consequences that come with drinking and driving.”

Trooper Haynes was travelling in the southbound lanes of US 93 at approximately 2:40 AM Monday morning. He was struck head-on by a Volkswagen being driven north in the southbound lanes. The 29-year-old male driver of the Volkswagen was killed upon impact and pronounced dead at the scene.

A full investigative report on the collision will be released in the near future, but alcohol and high speeds on the part of the driver of the Volkswagen were major factors, Col. Tooley said.

After nearly 30 years without any fatalities, Trooper Haynes is the third Highway Patrol trooper to die in the line of duty in the past 18 months. All three of the most recent deaths occurred in the Kalispell area.

Haynes becomes the seventh Highway Patrol trooper to die in the line of duty in the Patrol’s 74-year history.

  • August 26, 2008 – Trooper Evan Schneider died in a crash near Columbia Falls. While in pursuit of a vehicle, Schneider was hit head-on by another vehicle that was forced into oncoming traffic.
  • October 9, 2007 – Trooper David Graham died in a crash two miles north of Kalispell when a vehicle crossed a turn lane and hit him head-on.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • July 24, 1954 – Officer James Anderson had pulled over a driver on the Bozeman Hill. A vehicle coming from the opposite direction struck Anderson.
  • 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.

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