The Missoula County Sheriff and Coroner TJ McDermott has released the name of the victim from Friday mornings fatal crash on Highway 93 South, near mile marker 85. Kenneth Vanvallis, 42, was pronounced deceased at a local hospital. The cause of death has been determined as blunt force trauma while the manner is motor vehicle accident.
It’s important to note, that Mr. Vanvallis was not pronounced at the scene as some news outlets initially reported. This caused some very hard feelings for family members who saw the articles, knowing their loved one was en-route to the hospital. The confusion and misinformation was another blow at an already tragic time.
We know that it is never intentional, but wanted to take the opportunity to let reporters know that coroners and medical doctors are the only individuals that can pronounce a person deceased. If you have any questions about a specific case in the future please contact our office directly. This will ensure the right information is released during these heart-breaking incidents.
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