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A Montana Highway Patrol trooper died this morning in a head-on crash on U.S. Highway 2 near Kalispell.

36 year-old David Graham of Kalispell was driving south at about 9:30 a.m. when a Dodge pickup heading north drifted into his lane and struck his vehicle head-on. He died at the scene.

Graham is the fifth trooper to die on the job in the 72 year history of the patrol. It has been nearly 30 years since a patrolman died in the line of duty.

Graham joined the patrol in August 2006. He is survived by his wife and three young children.

Another person injured in the crash was air-lifted to Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
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I knew Trooper David Graham briefly and he was an outstanding Trooper and had been a great asset to the Montana Highway Patrol.

Please pray for his wife and kids.
 

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That's a bad deal. My thoughts & prayers go out to his family & fellow Troopers.
 

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Very sad news...I'll pray for his family.
 

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prayer............
 

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damn, thats a shame. It makes you realize how quick you can leave this world.

Blessings to his family in this time of need.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for your responses.... here is the sunrise on the following morning of our loss of Trooper David Graham.



Trooper David Graham will be laid to rest this Saturday after the funeral that will be conducted at our church in Kalispell, Mt.

The thin blue line
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became thinner.

As the investigation continued, it was discovered that the 22 yr old female driver was searching for something on the floor of her truck, when she drifted over into Trooper David Grahams path.
 

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This is very sad news, my heart and prayers go out to his family anf friends. The world has truly lost a fine young man.
 

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We thank you Father for his service to his fellowman, we pray for the grief and suffering of his family that in due time the pain will disappear and be replaced with good memories and the joy of the Lord. Weeping endures for a night but joy comes in the morning. Keep his family in your perfect peace, in the blessed name of Jesus, amen.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Trooper Graham your now off shift


Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Tom Taylor of Great Falls spends a quiet moment beside the casket of fellow Montana Highway Patrol Trooper David Graham after Saturday’ss graveside service at Glacier Memorial Gardens north of Kalispell. Graham died in an automobile accident while on duty Tuesday morning on U.S. 2. Jennifer Demonte/Daily Inter Lake

At least 1,000 people — including law-enforcement officers from throughout the region — paid tribute Saturday to fallen patrolman

As a kid, David Graham would puncture quiet moments with a piercing imitation of a siren.

Not a boy-like “Whoo-whoo-whoo.”

“This was uncannily realistic,” recalled his friend Glen Magers.


After one surprise siren imitation, the boy told the others in the room: “I’m going to be a policeman someday.”

Thirteen months ago, that dream came true when Graham joined the Montana Highway Patrol.

His dream job ended Tuesday, when a pickup struck his patrol car on U.S. 2.

Graham, 36, of Kalispell left behind his wife Genny; and three children, Cedric, 9; Chynna, 7; and Caiden, 4.

Almost 1,000 people attended Graham’s funeral Saturday afternoon at the Christian Center in Kalispell before burying him at Glacier Memorial Gardens.

Hundreds of law officers showed up.

State patrol officers. Sheriff’s deputies. Police. Agents from several federal agencies. Firefighters. Emergency medical technicians. Tow-truck drivers from several local companies. Leather-jacketed members of the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle organization.

From all across Montana. From big departments and tiny ones. From Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and South Dakota.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer was there. So was Montana Attorney Mike McGrath.

“While [highway patrol officers] travel in their cars across Montana, they are not alone. Their families are with them — mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters and the rest of the members of the highway patrol,” Schweitzer said.

Col. Paul Grimstad, commander of the Montana Highway Patrol, said: “The best way to remember David is to walk the walk, to remember what we do.”

Graham’s first encounter with a man with a badge came when he was in kindergarten, when the curious boy pulled down a fire alarm.

As a teen he attended Wentworth Military Academy and graduated from Flathead High School in 1989. He played saxophone in high school and in a jazz band. He also liked to use double-sided tape to anchor glasses and cups to tables for unsuspecting people to try to pick up.

He was calm, even-tempered, scrupulously honest and religious — belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Graham moved to Missouri, where he became a district manager for the Fun Factory chain. It was there where he met and married Genny.

“Dave was dedicated to his family. He loved his family above all else,” said Darold Schaffer, Graham’s church branch president.

He loved to hunt, picking up a nickname as “Bam Bam Graham” after hitting a scampering squirrel several times with a .22-caliber pistol before bringing it down.

The family moved back to Kalispell in 1999. Graham ended up at The Home Depot, where he eventually became service desk supervisor.

A couple of years ago, Graham’s boyhood dreams grew so much inside him that he began applying for every law-enforcement opening he could find.

At the same time, he hit the gym and began running seriously — sometimes working out late at night around his work schedule.

And Graham prayed for his chance.

When the highway patrol took him in, he told his branch president: “ ‘I want you to know it’s an answer to my prayers’ ... He treasured that acceptance and assignment into the patrol,” Schaffer said.

Magers said: “He chose a profession — not a job and not a career — but a profession where he could help those who needed it.”

Graham joined the patrol in August 2006. He did his initial tour just east of Glacier National Park before being transferred to Kalispell.

Magers told a story about Graham going through the patrol’s shoot-don’t-shoot training with paintballs. When the “bad guy” fired at most of the other trainees, they backed off and ducked for cover. But Graham sprung forward and splattered the “bad guy” instructor with paintballs. That was the way to react, the instructor told the class.

“Bam Graham,” Magers softly told the funeral crowd.

Schaffer said Graham believed in an after-life, in a heavenly paradise.

“Knowing how humble he is, David is overwhelmed by the support you’re showing,” Schaffer told the crowd.

After the funeral, a long procession drove north on U.S.. 93 to Glacier Memorial Gardens.

Smalls groups of people stood along the highway to watch the procession. A few held American flags.

At the cemetery, all the law officers lined in neat ranks to watch the final ceremony.

They saluted as one.

A bagpipe player performed “Amazing Grace” as an honor guard folded the American flag that draped Graham’s coffin. Grimstad gave it to Genny Graham.

A squad of seven patrol officers with rifles fired three volleys.

A single trumpet mournfully wailed “Taps.”

Then silence.

Then a voice came over a cranked-up radio, calling for all patrol officers in vehicles to observe a moment of silence in their cars.

Finally, that same disembodied radio voice said to the man in the casket: “You’re now off shift to go where God has prepared you to go.”
 
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