Posted: Sep 2, 2013 4:05 PM by Judy Slate - MTN News
Updated: Sep 2, 2013 8:34 PM
The Gallatin County Sheriff's department is grieving the sudden loss of one of their own after a deputy died in an early morning climbing accident at Hyalite on Monday.
The deputy killed was 35-year-old John Amos Ridenour.
An emotional Sheriff Gootkin remembered him just hours after the accident.
"He was just full of life. He was a great guy, a great deputy. It's tragic and all we can do is do our best to take care of his family," Gootkin said.
Originally from Virginia, Amos Ridenour had been a deputy for eight years before which, he worked for Montana State University Police.
At around 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Ridenour, an experienced climber, was climbing Practice Rock in Hyalite with his son and a friend when he fell nearly 40 feet and died instantly.
His son, luckily, did not see the fall.
Gallatin County Search and Rescue responded and hours later, his body was recovered. Sheriff Gootkin escorted the body to a funeral home.
"We have our chaplain and we have other people coming in throughout because this is ongoing so we'll make sure to keep an eye on our folks, make sure they're OK...," Gootkin said.
Ridenour leaves behind his wife Elizabeth and two young children. There is no word yet on when funeral services will take place.