Just before releasing critically wounded Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer for his return trip to Missoula on Wednesday, there was a brief press conference that was live streamed on Facebook.

Speaking at the press conference included Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, Colonel Tom Butler, Commander of the Montana Highway Patrol and two of the physicians who attended Trooper Palmer during his hospital stay.

Dr. John Speed was asked about the specific injuries that Trooper Palmer received when he was ambushed while sitting in his patrol vehicle early on the morning of March 16 near Evaro. Palmer suffered gunshot wounds to the head and neck.

“Officer Palmer, in terms of his brain injuries, suffered a penetrating traumatic brain injury on the lefts side of the brain,” said Speed. “For right handed people, your speech comes from the left side of your brain, so by the time he came to Utah he had suffered the brain injury and our hope was to insure that he was treated in a timely fashion to prevent further brain injuries. Our treatment was to try to prevent any secondary brain injuries.”


The reporter inquired about Trooper Palmer’s chances of recovery.

“Every case is different,” Speed said. “Obviously, Officer Palmer has a significant brain injury, so we knew we had to act fast and give him the ‘full-court press’ in terms of getting to him fast and decompressing the skull allowing his brain to swell which is a really important and fundamental principle of how we take care of patients who have a severe traumatic brain injury.”

Following the press conference, Attorney General Fox, Colonel Butler, Lt Colonel Jason Hildenstab, Montana Highway Patrol, Sergeant Sean Finley, Montana Highway Patrol and Trooper palmer’s wife Lindsey.

After touching down at the Missoula International Airport, Palmer will be escorted through Missoula and returned to his home and family in Stevensville.


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