|Corporal Don Ivie|
Law enforcers in southwest Missouri are mourning the death of one of their own after a Highway Patrol trooper fell over 2,500 feet to his death while hiking near Jackson Hole, Wyoming yesterday.
Corporal Don Ivie, 44, was an eighteen year veteran of the road division, most recently in the motorcycle division. He also was an adjunct professor at Missouri State University.
The Jackson Hole Daily is reporting that Ivie's wife reported him missing at about 8:45 p.m. after he failed to return from a day long solo hike. Mrs. Ivie reported him missing about a half an hour before the “pumpkin hour,” when rescue helicopter's are no longer allowed to fly because of darkness.
Park Rangers and guides from Exum Mountain Guides began a search on foot at 8 a.m. Monday, but were unable to get a helicopter up to assist in the search until yesterday afternoon due to inclement weather.
Ivies body was spotted in Valhalla Canyon about 1:45 p.m. by searchers in the helicopter. Rangers say Ivie didn't have much technical climbing experience. They're investigating his death but say the circumstances may never be known since he was climbing alone.
Two months ago Ivie and his 12 year-old daughter were hiking in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado when they wandered off a trail. Ivie called 9-1-1 for help and the pair were rescued by the Alpine Rescue Team, which flew in a helicopter to help spot the pair.
Ivie's body was found in roughly the same spot where climber Brandon Oldenkamp was found after a lighting storm July 21, 2010, hit 17 climbers on the 13,770-foot peak, prompting the largest rescue in Grand Teton National Park’s history.
Ivie is survived by his wife and three children.
"It's a sad day for the patrol and specifically for all our officers in Troop D. He was an outstanding trooper, great friend, spouse and father," said Sgt. Jason Pace, public information officer for Troop D.