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Firefighter from Helena dies in crash returning from assignment

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Posted at 12:05 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-05 07:54:00-04

Sara Madsen, a young firefighter from Helena, died in a car crash in Idaho as she was returning home from a fire assignment.

Madsen, 24 years old, was spending her first year as part of the Helena Hot Shot crew with the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service-Caribou-Targhee National Forest said in a Facebook post:

  • Yesterday, we tragically lost a member of our firefighting and forest service family in a vehicle accident as she returned home from a fire assignment. Nothing is so devastating and tragic as losing a family member, a loved one, a friend, or a close colleague. The heartbreak is often compounded when that precious life is lost at such a young age. Sara Madsen was an incredible person with a vivacious personality and a love for the outdoors. She began working in natural resources in our very own #Teton Valley as a Youth Conservation Corp member, later moving into the fire program where she served as a crewmember on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest’s Centennial Type II Initial Attack Hand Crew from 2017-2019. 2020 was her first year as part of the Helena Hot Shot crew with the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. Our firefighting community is heartbroken over this tragic loss and our condolences go out to Sara’s family, friends and coworkers. #Neverforgotten

The Idaho State Police released the following information:

  • On September 2, 2020, at approximately 12:21 a.m., Idaho State Police investigated a single-vehicle crash on SH32, near milepost 25, south of Ashton, in Fremont County.
  • Sara Madsen, 24, of Tetonia, was driving eastbound on SH32, in a 1999 Ford Ranger, when her vehicle went off the right shoulder of the roadway and overturned.
  • Madsen was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. She succumbed to her injuries at the scene. Next of kin has been notified.
  • Idaho State Police was assisted by the Fremont County Sheriff's Office.

We will update you if we get more information.