Sasquatch stunt takes a tragic turn on highway

Kalispell man, 44, dies

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A man dressed in a military-style “Ghillie suit” who was attempting to provoke a Bigfoot sighting was struck by two vehicles and killed on U.S. 93 south of Kalispell Sunday night.

“He was trying to make people think he was Sasquatch so people would call in a Sasquatch sighting,” Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Jim Schneider said. “You can’t make it up. I haven’t seen or heard of anything like this before. Obviously, his suit made it difficult for people to see him.”

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office identified the man as Randy Lee Tenley, 44, of Kalispell.

Schneider said Tenley’s motivations were ascertained during interviews with friends who were not in the immediate area but were nearby when the man was struck at about 10:30 p.m.

“Alcohol may have been a factor,” Schneider said. “Impairment is up in the air.”

Tenley was on the southbound side of the highway, about a half mile south of the highway’s intersection with Rocky Cliff Road.

“He was in the right-hand lane of travel and the vehicle was unable to avoid him and struck him,” Schneider said of the first vehicle driven by a 15-year-old girl from Somers.

A second vehicle driven by a 17-year-old Somers girl also struck Tenley as he laid on the highway.

Ghillie suits are commonly used by military snipers and some that are advertised on the Internet have a Bigfoot-like appearance. 

“This one was a store-bought version, just a commercial Ghillie suit that was pre-made,” Schneider said.

Tenley was pronounced dead at the scene.

Reporter Jim Mann may be reached at 758-4407 or by email at jmann@dailyinterlake.com.

 

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