Jake and Monica Allmendinger

In a family photo, Jake Allmendinger and wife Monica play on a beach. Allmendinger, a deputy with the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office, was killed after being pinned by his sliding car while trying to help a stranded driver.

BOZEMAN, Mont. - It's been just over one year since the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office lost one of their own, Sheriff's Deputy Jake Allmendinger, in a tragic accident in the Bridger Mountains. His story pulled on the heartstrings of Montanans and even those beyond in 2019. Now, one year on, his family, friends, and coworkers remember Jake.

Deputy Jake Allmendinger was just 31 years old when he died on October 19, 2019, the night of his wife Monica's birthday. Allmendinger was on his way to help a stranded motorist on Fairy Lake Road in the middle of one of the year's first snowstorms. When his car started sliding, the deputy got out, trying to stop it, and was pinned underneath his Sheriff's Office vehicle.

Support poured in from around the country, including 250 law enforcement officers who traveled to Allmendinger's memorial service.

Even 380 days on from his passing, the family is still on the minds of many.

Brian Taylor is a Sheriff's Deputy and also Allmendinger's brother-in-law.

“She just got a blanket sent to her in the mail, a shadowbox that someone in Florida made for her, a high school student down there made for her, another retired law enforcement officer dropped off a rocking horse that he made for the youngest.”

Allmendinger committed his life to family and service, working with Search and Rescue and 911 dispatch before becoming a deputy in 2017.

“He always strived to do the best that he could at everything that he did, wouldn’t take second place over anything," says Taylor. "[I'd] usually take second place to Jake in most everything we did.”

Allmendinger had three children with his high-school sweetheart, Monica: 9-year-old Bentley, 6-year-old Lexi, and 2-year-old Kai. The family is doing okay, all things considered, with a network of support around the Gallatin Valley.

The pain also remains for leaders in the Sheriff's Office, who had never lost a deputy on their watch before Allmendinger.

"You’ve got these three young, young kids that will never have their dad and as a father, it’s tough. It hurts," says Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin.

Allmendinger was the first person in the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office to die on duty in one hundred years.

"It's a sad reminder that this is a dangerous business," says Jason Jarrett, former Gallatin County Search and Rescue Commander. "There's very few jobs where you count on your deskmate to save your life. And it creates more of a family environment. We don’t consider ourselves necessarily coworkers, we are family.”

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