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Ex-Griz football standout Jesse Sims dies in accident

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Posted at 9:34 AM, May 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-31 11:34:14-04

MISSOULA — Former Montana Griz football standout Jesse Sims passed away on Saturday morning after an accident involving an ATV near Clearwater.

Sims was 24.

Montana Highway Patrol trooper Mary Strumpfer said she was dispatched to an accident at 1:20 a.m. on Saturday near mile marker 31 just off the north side of Highway 200.

According to Strumpfer, two people were driving in the ATV near Clearwater but due to terrain, the driver of the vehicle asked the passenger to get off of the vehicle, per the statement the passenger gave Strumpfer.

After getting off of the vehicle, the ATV rolled down a mountainside with the driver as the lone occupant in the vehicle, per the passenger's statement to MHP.

Life Flight pronounced the driver dead on the scene. No other injuries were reported and no other vehicles were involved. Alcohol is a suspected factor, according to MHP.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office released the driver's ID on Sunday afternoon, identified to be Sims.

Sims was a Stevensville native and graduated as a standout athlete at Corvallis High School. Sims initially committed to play football at Oregon State, but after coaching changes at OSU, he flipped to stay in state and play at Montana.

With the Grizzlies, Sims starred. He redshirted in 2015 and then played in all but one game during the remaining four years he was at Montana. In April of 2018, Sims was given the legacy No. 37 jersey and was a team captain for the Grizzlies in 2019 when they made the playoffs again for the first time since 2015.

In his career at UM, Sims, a defensive lineman, racked up 164 total tackles and eight sacks.