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News Briefs

by Lake County Leader
| July 3, 2024 12:00 AM

Search for missing boater continues

As of Monday, Search and Rescue teams from Lake, Flathead and Missoula counties, as well as Kootenai County, Idaho, continued scouring Flathead Lake for the body of a missing boater, presumed to have drown after becoming separated from his motor boat last Thursday evening.

According to Lake County Sheriff Don Bell, the missing boater has been identified as 34-year-old Chad Hansen of Missoula.

Lake County 911 took the report of a boater on Flathead Lake who was in trouble at around 9:41 p.m. June 27 around The Narrows, an area just north of Polson Bay. According to a press release from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Hansen “somehow ended up in the water, separated from his boat.”

“Witnesses attempted to assist him, but were not able to,” Bell said, which prompted the Search and Rescue mission. “Based on the information gathered from witnesses, he has died of drowning.”

“The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office offers our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Hansen and we commit to do our best to find him,” the sheriff said.

He expects the search to continue "ideally until he is found."

St. Ignatius teen dies in rollover

A 17-year-old teen from St. Ignatius died last Thursday after losing control of the stolen truck he was driving. The driver has been identified as Curtis Brown of St. Ignatius.

According to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the county’s 911 call center was notified that a maroon Ford F150 crew cab had been reported as stolen shortly after midnight June 27.

A citizen located the stolen vehicle at around 5:52 a.m. at the intersection of Sabine and Old Freight Road west of St. Ignatius. According to a report from the Highway Patrol, the driver had been "driving recklessly, fishtailing from the intersection" before driving off the left side of the roadway. The driver overcorrected, which caused the vehicle to roll. Brown, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate the incident with support from the Montana Highway Patrol and the state medical examiner.

Polson man dies in crash near Pablo

An elderly Polson man died last Thursday morning when his vehicle failed to negotiate a turn at the intersection of Old Highway 93 and Light Road near Pablo. 

He's been identified as 82-year-old Harold Spittler. 

According a report from the Montana Highway Patrol, a Dodge Ram 1500 was northbound on Old Highway 93, failed to negotiate the turn and left the roadway. The vehicle then returned to the road and drove off the left side, traveling down an embankment into trees and brush.

According to the Lake County Sheriff's Office, the vehicle went into the ditch after the driver suffered a medical incident. His demise has been certified by the coroner as a natural death.