The Montana Highway Patrol Trooper who was critically injured Thursday night near Evaro, Wade Palmer, was honored in 2015 along with then cadet T.J. Templeton with the Medal of Valor after his heroic rescue of a woman and her family on I-90 in 2014.

Palmer received his medal before his fellow troopers from Attorney General Tim Fox.

The family that Palmer and Templeton rescued attended the ceremony, but asked not to be photographed or interviewed by the media.

John Barnes with the Montana Department of Justice also attended the ceremony, and spoke about it on Friday morning.

“I just went and looked at that video of the crash, and even the video will move you to tears because that woman was so petrified,” said Barnes. “That trooper not only saved her, but tried to calm her down. Trooper Palmer demonstrated the best of what Montanans look for. They want their law enforcement officers and Highway Patrol troopers to, as my kids say, go out and get the bad guys, but also help the good guys and try to give them hope and comfort when they are in great distress and great need, and he did that, he lived that out. It moves you to tears when you think about that rescue and then what happened last night.”

Taken into custody for the shootings was 29 year-old Jonathan Bertsch. He has not yet appeared on the Missoula County Jail roster.

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