Kalispell Game Warden Matt Heaton was chosen as the 2009 Boating Officer of the Year for his exceptional work investigating a boating fatality on Flathead Lake during the summer of 2009.
Two vessels crashed at night several miles off shore on the largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi. This major accident resulted in the death of the driver of one vessel, and serious injuries to other occupants of the boats. This was a major investigation and given the locale, presented numerous problems for Matt during the investigation.
Matt did an extraordinary job carefully sorting his way through the complex circumstances and legalities involved in this boating accident. Matt Heaton’s dedication, professionalism and commitment to quality public service on the water earned him the award for 2009.