Montana snowmobiler killed in Idaho mountain avalanche

HAMILTON, Mont. — A Montana man was killed in a large avalanche while riding a snowmobile in the Sawtooth Mountains in central Idaho.

Andy Jessop, 30, of Corvallis died Friday while trying to climb a slope in the Smiley Creek area, Ravalli Republic reports.

A preliminary report from the Sawtooth Avalanche Center said Jessop’s activity triggered the avalanche.

Jessop deployed an airbag but was caught in a debris flow and carried 600 feet down the mountain. The avalanche traveled about 1,000 feet and debris was piled up to 30 feet deep. Members of his party were not able to revive him.

Jessop was a member of the Ravalli County Police Reserves. His body was escorted by a procession of vehicles from the top of Lost Trail Pass to Hamilton late Friday.

The caravan organized by Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton included vehicles from the sheriff’s office, the Montana Highway Patrol, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, volunteer fire departments and personal vehicles.

“It was supposed to be pretty small, but by the time it was done there was a line that was three-quarters of a mile long,” Holton said. “It was a pretty amazing tribute to a pretty amazing young man.”

Suspect opens fire at Washington State Patrol trooper during traffic stop

TUKWILA, Wash. — A suspect opened fire at a Washington State Patrol trooper Sunday evening as he tried to stop the vehicle for speeding on Interstate 405 in Tukwila, and the suspects involved have not been found, officials said.

WSP Trooper Rick Johnson tweeted shortly after 5 p.m. that a trooper had been shot at. The trooper was not hit, KING-TV reported.

“It was a very high tense and stressful situation for him and honestly, we’re just glad that he’s OK and obviously all the motorists that were in that area are OK,” said Trooper Chase Van Cleave. “And we’re dedicating all of our resources to identifying and locating suspects because it’s not safe, it’s not acceptable, and it’s not something that we’re gonna let go.”

The incident happened when the trooper tried to stop a vehicle traveling on northbound I-405 in the area of SR 181 in Tukwila. The vehicle took the SR 169 exit in Renton and was found in Kent just before 6 p.m., Johnson said.

There were three people in the suspect vehicle, and so far none of them have been found. WSP is working with Kent police to search for the people involved.

Officials identify three Billings high school students killed in crash

BILLINGS, Mont. — Officials in Yellowstone County have released the names of three Billings West High School students who were killed in a weekend crash.

The victims were the driver, Thomas Lindsay, 17; along with passengers Kylie Rae Larsen, 18; and Conner Hunter Devere, 16, Coroner Cliff Mahoney said Monday. Larsen and Devere died at the scene of the crash, which happened just before 9 p.m. Friday on the west side of Billings, the Billings Gazette reported.

Lindsay died at the hospital on Saturday. Another passenger was injured in the crash.

The sport utility vehicle overturned, went off the road and through a fence before coming to rest on its wheels, officers said. The cause of the crash is still being investigated.

Avalanche dangers close three major mountain passes in Washington

OLYMPIA — Three major mountain passes in Washington state were closed overnight because of avalanche dangers after heavy rain fell on a large snowpack from recent storms, state transportation officials said.

Snoqualmie Pass along Interstate 90, Stevens Pass on U.S. Route 2 and White Pass on U.S. Route 12 were closed Sunday at 6 p.m. and remained closed Monday morning.

It was unknown how long the passes would be closed. On Interstate 90, traffic was stopped eastbound near North Bend, and westbound near Easton, Cle Elum and Ellensburg, officials said.

Washington man arrested following deadly hit-and-run crash in Bothell

EVERETT, Wash. — A man was arrested in connection with the suspected hit-and-run deaths of two people in Washington state, authorities said.

A 27-year-old man who was not immediately identified was detained by police following the deaths on Highway 524 in Bothell Friday, the Daily Herald reported.

The Washington State Patrol said the bodies of a 40-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man were discovered by a jogger around 10 a.m. about 15 feet from the side of the highway.

The names of the deceased were not immediately released.

A state trooper said he was inside a 7-Eleven searching security footage for images of cars that passed the store about a mile west of the crash scene. While he was there, a Chevy Malibu with a damaged front windshield and cracked right side arrived at the store.

“The clerk points out the window at this car that just pulled up to the gas station,” Trooper Rocky Oliphant said.

The man told police he drove to work on Highway 524 at 5:30 a.m. and thought he hit something, but believed it was a garbage can.