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On Sunday, ambulances, fire trucks, law enforcement, and other vehicles representing 61 agencies from Spokane, Wash., to Valley County, Mont., form a 2-mile-long Line of Duty Death Memorial Procession for EMT Darylynne Day that traveled from Deer Lodge to Anaconda for her funeral service.

DEER LODGE — A more than 2-mile-long procession of emergency vehicles slowly made its way from here to Anaconda Sunday afternoon, honoring fallen EMT DaryLynne Day of Anaconda.

The Line of Duty Death Memorial Procession included ambulances, fire trucks, law enforcement and other vehicles, including a Life Flight helicopter, representing 61 agencies. They came from large and small towns from Spokane to far Eastern Montana to pay tribute to Day.

Day, 36, of Anaconda, had worked with Powell County Ambulance Service as an emergency medical technician since September 2018. Caring for sick and injured people, especially in emergency situations, has been a part of her family for generations. Her grandparents were among the first emergency medical responders certified in Montana and her parents, Darin and Tina Hellekson, were EMTs for many years in Anaconda.

On the evening of Sunday, August 18, she was a crew member on standby with an ambulance at the Powell County Fairgrounds. During the final heat of the Demolition Derby, a driver lost control of his car after being hit and was unable to take evasive action before the car crashed through the fence, striking spectators sitting on a small bleacher and standing along the fence, injuring Day and seven others.

Lori Schalk, president of Powell County Ambulance Service, said, “People have been calling from other services across the state and there has been an outpouring of love and support from people who are concerned about all of us (ambulance staff) and the Day family."

Shannon Thomason drove from Plentywood and has been a friend of Day for three years, since they worked together at Warm Springs.

She said, “DaryLynne was an amazing person with a kind heart. She loved everybody, and was always looking for ways she could help other people. She loved her job.”

Among those who participated in the memorial procession was the Central Valley Fire District Honor Guard from Belgrade. They participate in military and emergency responder funerals. The Honor Guard is a Local Assistance State Team of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Their mission is to provide assistance and comfort for the family and their department.

Also present was a contingent of Patriot Guard Riders from across Montana. Joe Minder, 80, of Belgrade said he was a medic for many years and “ these people hold a special place in my heart.”

Jordan Lindberg, an Opportunity fireman, said Day was one of his instructors when he was in EMT class. He was in the audience the night of the accident and assisted with the injured patients. “It was a very tragic event that night,” he said.

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One of Day’s former patients, Dick Perkins of Garrison, had the highest praise for her care when she helped him when he had a heart attack. “She stayed with me through it all and was so compassionate and caring,” he said.

The procession staged at the Powell County Fairgrounds in Deer Lodge and left for Anaconda traveling south on Main Street, then proceeded along the frontage road to Warm Springs then to the Washoe Theatre in Anaconda where the funeral was held at 2 p.m.

An investigation of the incident is being conducted by the Powell County Sheriff’s office and other agencies.

GoFundMe and Benefit

Day was a mother who leaves behind 2 young children and her husband, Zach. Her fellow EMTs want to raise money for her family, to help with the unexpected costs that come with suddenly becoming a single parent, as well as household expenses and funeral services.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to help the family at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-family-of-darylynne-day So far, $10,805 has been raised.

A benefit will be held Saturday, September 21 at 4 p.m. at the Blue Ribbon Pavilion on the Powell County Fairgrounds. There will live music, food, silent auction and raffles. Organizers would like any donations ready for pickup by Sept. 17 or earlier. Cash donations can be sent to Peoples Bank — DaryLynne Day Benefit Fund. For more information call John Carlbom 406-750-6178 or message him on Facebook.

Organizers said funds raised will also go to people who were treated at the hospital to help with their medical bills because DaryLynne would not want all of the attention and would want to help others involved as well.

The first Demolition Derby in Deer Lodge was held in the fall of 1976 and it has continued since then under the sponsorship of different organizations. For the past 30 years, the Chamber of Commerce has sponsored it without incident. It is the Chamber of Commerce’s primary fundraising source for its annual budget.

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