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Three recent drownings in Montana

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Posted at 9:54 AM, Jun 26, 2024

HELENA — The man who drowned in the Missouri River near Craig last week has been identified as 71-year old Danial Francis Gard.

Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said on Tuesday that Gard reportedly went overboard trying to retrieve an oar that went into the water.

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Friends were able to pull him back aboard and he was taken to the boat launch in Craig, but efforts to revive Gard were not successful.

Gard’s death has been ruled an accident.



The woman who drowned near St. Mary Falls on the east side of Glacier National Park on Sunday, June 23, 2024. has been identified as 26-year-old Gillian Tones from North Apollo, Pennsylvania.

Glacier National Park staff said in a news release on Tuesday that it was first reported that Tones went into the water above St. Mary Falls.

Witnesses later clarified that Tones slipped on wet, slick rocks and fell into Virginia Creek between St. Mary and Virginia Falls, about 200 yards above the trail bridge.

St. Mary Falls

Tones was quickly swept up by the cold, fast moving water and went over a series of smaller waterfalls, then was pinned underwater by a log for several minutes until heroic efforts by other park visitors led to pulling her from the river.

Park dispatch received numerous 911 calls routed through Glacier County dispatch at approximately 5:20 pm. Park rangers were on the scene by approximately 5:45 pm. ALERT helicopter landed nearby at about 6:20 pm.

Despite resuscitation efforts by bystanders, park rangers, ambulance personnel and ALERT helicopter medics, Tones never regained consciousness and was declared dead by ALERT personnel at about 7 pm.


A 76-year-old man died after being thrown from a raft into the Bitterroot River on Monday, June 24, 2024.

Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton says Roger Lee Booth of Charleston, West Virginia, drowned in the incident, which happened near Woodside Cutoff just east of Corvallis in western Montana.

The accident happened when a raft that Booth was fishing from hit a bridge support pillar and overturned, throwing the three people into the river, according to a news release.

Sheriff Holton says first responders reached the victim and provided emergency medical care, but Booth died at the scene.

The two other men thrown from the raft were able to make it to shore safely.