Somber show of support

Marlo Pronovost
Thursday, October 24, 2019
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DES photo by Bill Pronovost

Columbus Fire Rescue's Tom Robbins, Terry Brumfield (saluting) and Stillwater County Sheriff's Deputy Larry Bernhardt stand watch on the Rapelje Road Overpass as the body of fallen Gallatin County Sheriff's Deputy Jake Allmendinger is brought through en route to the state medical examiner's office in Billings Tuesday morning. See our photo gallery for more images.

The Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office, the Columbus Police Department and Columbus Fire Rescue gathered on I-90 Monday morning for a duty of the toughest kind.

The body of fallen Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Allmendinger was brought from Bozeman to Billings to the state medical examiner’s office by a processional of 14 law enforcement and fire agencies that drove the entire distance with activated emergency lights. The processional was led by the Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin — a member of the same Montana Law Enforcement Academy Basic class as Stillwater County Sheriff Chip Kem.

Meeting the processional at the Sweet Grass County line and escorting it to the Yellowstone County line were Stillwater County Undersheriff Randy Smith and Deputy Ren Crain. Columbus Police were stationed at the westbound crossover and also fell in line with the processional. Columbus Fire Rescue and Stillwater County Disaster and Emergency Services stood on the Columbus-Rapelje overpass with a flag displayed on the ladder of a truck, saluting.

When Deputy Allmendinger’s body was being brought back through, the scene replayed.

Deputy Allmendinger was killed in a car accident while attempting to reach a stranded motorist in the Bridger Mountains Saturday. He leaves behind a wife and three children.

Agencies that accompanied the deputy’s body to and from Billings included the Bozeman Police Department, Belgrade Police Department, Livingston Police Department, Billings Police Department, Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office, Carbon County Sheriff’s Office, Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Park County Sheriff’s Office, Sweet Grass County Sheriff’s Office, Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Forest Service, Bozeman Fire, Montana Highway Patrol and American Medical Response.