Train Derails In Trego, No Reported Injuries at Incident

Submitted By Brent  Faulkner


On March 6, at about 11:30 a.m., Eureka Area Dispatch received a call that a train had derailed in Trego, Montana, at the Fortine Creek Road railroad crossing. This railroad crossing is part of a spur line system, not the main line.

Lincoln County emergency services including the Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management Agency, County Road Department, and Trego Fortine Striker Volunteer Fire Department responded.

The Mission Mountain Railroad locomotive appeared to have derailed from the tracks due to ice on the road crossing during a slow speed maneuver of five freight cars loaded with lumber. The locomotive remained upright. The five freight cars did not derail. The fifth freight car was blocking one lane of the two-lane road.

Trego Fire and LCSO remained on scene for traffic control until the freight car partially blocking the roadway could be moved. Traffic was resolved in both directions at about 3:00 P.M.

There is no reported damage to any rail cars, no reported injuries, and no hazardous materials were involved.


Photo Courtesy of Brent Faulkner

Troy High School Student

Competes in Rifle Match


Submitted by Kathy Konek


On the weekend of February 24 thru 26, the Kootenai Valley Rifle Club in Bonners Ferry hosted two rifle matches. Both were what is known as a Sectional Match. Your score is sent to the NRA and all Sectional scores are accumulated and your national ranking determined. Those results being posted by the NRA later in the year.

Both matches were shot indoors using single shot .22 caliber rifle at target 50 feet away. The 10 ring is smaller than an eraser on the end of your pencil. The competitors completed the course of fire using the prone, standing, sitting and kneeling positions.

The first match which any one can compete in, using a scoped rifle or iron sights, was finished shooting two targets in each of the four positions for a total of 80 shots and a perfect score being an 800. There were twelve shooters from Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai Valley (KV) teams represented. Ron Shadel, of Sandpoint, finished first with a score of 781. Silver was awarded to Greg Mead of the KV team with a score of 779. Salix Harris of Troy, Mont. shooting for KV was first Marksman, scoring 767.

The second match was for junior (under 21 years old) shooters only using iron sights. Sixteen competitors would shoot one target in each position for a total of 40 shots and a score of 400 possible. The KV team would take the first three places. Ellie Rutherford, shooting in the junior class (over 18 yrs old), was first with a score of 389. Megg Kahanek, also in the junior class, was second and only three points behind, with a score of 386. Salix Harris, in the intermediate-junior class (15-17 yrs old) was third overall scoring a 381.

Other awards were given to Paige Sartell, of the KV team, as second intermediate-junior and Daphne Garberoglio took third in the same class and represents the Coeur d’Alene team.

Kyalynn Comer, of the KV team, was first sub-junior (14 yrs old and under). Curtis Sommerfeld, of the Sandpoint team, was second and Riley Shadel, also of Sandpoint, was third.

If you are interested in learning more about, or returning to, the sport of competitive rifle shooting, contact Don Jordan at 208-610-0226.

Montana Highway Patrol Officer Lewis Johnson is on the Road to Recovery

Submitted by Lincoln County Sheriffs Office & Montana Highway Patrol Abridge by The Montanian

Lewis Johnson. Photo courtesy of MHP.


On Thursday February 16, 2023 at about 2:39 P.M, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies in Eureka, Montana, attempted to arrest 41 year old Jason Allen Miller of Eureka on a felony warrant for absconding from parole following conviction on the charges of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and two counts of theft.

Thank you to everyone who attended Trooper Lewis Johnson’s send off to Colorado on Feb. 28. His journey to recovery is only beginning, but we are #johnsonfamilystrong! Photo by McKenna Ivanoff.


Miller led Lincoln County Deputies in a vehicle pursuit fleeing in his pickup south on Montana Highway 37, south of Eureka.

Deputies were joined in the pursuit by a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Lewis Johnson.

Miller attempted to turn onto Camp 32 Road and lost control of his vehicle. Deputies and the trooper approached the vehicle while giving commands to gain compliance and execute the arrest.

Miller regained control of his truck and drove at the Deputy and Trooper. Johnson, was struck by Miller’s truck. Deputies rendered aid to the injured trooper and additional Deputies continued the pursuit.

A Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Warden intercepted Miller off Camp 32 Road and Miller rammed the Warden’s vehicle. He was then then taken into custody.

A female passenger in Miller’s vehicle jumped out of the truck during the pursuit and was apprehended by US Border Patrol Agents.

She was questioned and released. Trooper Johnson was transported to Logan Health Center in Kalispell by an Alert air ambulance.

Lincoln County Sheriff Darren Short stated,” The actions of the Deputies, Troopers, and Wardens with assistance from the Border Patrol took a dangerous person out of our community. Thanks to their heroic actions, our entire community is a safer place. Our thoughts and prayers are with the trooper and his family. “

MHP Colonel Steve Lavin said, “This is a harsh reminder of the dangers we face as law enforcement officers. The outpouring of support from Montanans and the law enforcement community has been tremendous. Please continue to keep our trooper, the MHP family, and all law enforcement in your prayers. I’m thankful for the incredible work of our partners at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, the Division of Criminal Investigation, and every agency involved in yesterday’s incident who are investigating and who helped our trooper get to the hospital safely,”

The investigation is being conducted jointly by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation assisted by the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and MHP.

Montana Highway Patrol Posted on their Facebook Page: “We can report Trooper Lewis Johnson has completed his first week at Craig Hospital in Englewood, CO and has been getting up and dressed for PT/OT every day.

He continues to battle with the injuries sustained to his chest by fluid buildup in the chest cavity, making it difficult to breathe. For now, he is in a powered mobility chair until his left shoulder heals more.

The community support has been incredible, and the family is truly grateful. His room is starting to fill with cards and beautiful drawings. Please, keep them coming! He still has a long road ahead, but he’s in the right place for healing.”

Please consider donating if you have not already. The GoFundMe:

If you would rather donate to the 501c3 that has been set up, you can do so with this information:

Lewis and Kate Johnson Support fund, Lincoln Co Sherriff’s Reserve Fund 501(C)(3) First Montana Bank

504 Mineral Ave, Libby, MT 59923 Contact: Sheriff Darren Short at (406) 293-4112 ext. 1230

You can also donate directly to the family by mail to Lewis and Kate Johnson to PO Box 356 Chester, MT 59522.