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Driver killed in head-on crash with Park County sheriff’s deputy ID’d as Columbus man

Posted at 3:46 PM, Apr 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:49:35-04

PARK COUNTY – The man killed in a Friday head-on collision with a Park County sheriff’s deputy has been identified as Shawn Schmitz, 53, of Columbus.

The deputy, Brian Elliott-Pearson, is in fair condition after two surgeries, according to an update on the Park County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page and a Billings hospital spokesman.

In a press release, Park County Sheriff Brad Bichler said just before midnight Friday a passenger car, driven by Schmitz, was traveling south on Highway 89 and collided head-on with a Elliott-Pearson, who was driving a Park County Sheriff’s vehicle.

Schmitz died at the scene. Elliott-Pearson was flown by air ambulance to Billings for treatment.

Montana Highway Patrol is investigating the incident, Bichler said, and initial evidence indicates that the passenger car left its lane of travel and collided with the deputy in his lane.

It has not yet been determined what caused the vehicle driven by Schmitz to veer into Elliot-Pearson’s lane.