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Good Samaritans help elderly couple during storm at Great Falls concert

Posted at 3:18 PM, Jun 21, 2024

GREAT FALLS -- On Wednesday during the first Downtown Summer Jam concert of the season in Great Falls, a fast moving thunder storm moved bringing hail and rain and forced everyone in attendance to take shelter. Lane McAlpine, the production manager at the Newberry, took swift action.

“I saw two bolts of lightning right when Jeremy McCombs the opener was playing, so I went down to the Newberry basement and grabbed a bunch of tarps,” McAlpine said. “So I was rushing to cover stuff, we had the speakers covered so that was good. But we were on the move because it hit quick.”

Good Samaritans help elderly couple during storm at Great Falls concert

While Lane was covering equipment and securing the stage - something caught his eye. An elderly couple stranded in the crowd, unable to escape the elements in time.

“Right when I had finished covering everything we needed to cover on stage, I’m looking out and I see the couple. They were the only ones out there and they had walkers. They had coats, but no cover. I knew we had two tarps left, so I ran over and grabbed those and just ran out to them. Didn’t even really think of it, just realized that I was dry on stage and they were getting soaked.”

Jason Laird, a radio DJ for Town Square media and a former KRTV weather forecaster, was emceeing the event. He saw McAlpine spring into action and captured the moment.

Soon after, McAlpine was joined by concertgoer Kyle Wheatley who stayed with the elderly couple holding the tarp over their heads until the rain died down. All while getting pelted with rain and hail himself.


Wheatley declined an interview for this story when reached, but told MTN: “Those could be my grandparents. It’s something I’d do 10 times out of 10.”

Laird shared the images online and they quickly spread on social media, surprising McAlpine when he woke up the next morning.

“We had three concerts in three nights so I slept in late on Wednesday after a long few days,” McAlpine said. “I woke up and my phone was just blowing up. I was surprised, but it was kind of cool.”

These good Samaritans didn’t jump in to help for the recognition. It was simply the right thing to do at the time and something they hope anyone would do.

“It’s just what Great Falls is all about. We’re kind of community driven here and different from other places I would say,” McAlpine said. “We have to look after our elderly. And Great Falls looking out for Great Falls is all it is.”