University of Montana alum Dustin Frost, 27, remains unconscious and in stable condition at Kalispell Regional Medical Center following an Aug. 27 motorboat crash that included Frost's employer, U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, as well as fellow staffer Kristin Smith, state Sen. Greg Barkus and Barkus' wife. Frost, who suffered a serious but "survivable" head injury, serves as Rehberg's state director.
"He's stable," says Jim Oliverson, a spokesperson with the hospital. "His family is here, and they appear to be doing well."
As news of Frost's condition continues to trickle in, friends and fellow members of UM's College Republicans remain upbeat about the Sunburst native's chances of recovery.
"He's very intelligent, but he's a very humble Hi-Line kid," says UM student Will Selph. "If you tried, you could spend a year and you couldn't find anything bad to say about the kid."
Selph points out that Frost helped elect a Republican majority to the Associated Students of the University of Montana Senate before graduating in 2005.
"That's no small feat," Selph says.
Dan Stusek attended the Republican National Convention with Frost last year and points to him as an example for young Republicans still on campus.
"He's intelligent and savvy beyond his years," he says.
Frost's family has yet to make a statement about his condition. Rehberg's spokesman and former chief of staff Erik Iverson said the congressman's thoughts and prayers are with his staffer.
"Everybody's optimistic that he's going to recover," says Iverson.
The crash continues to be under investigation by Flathead County Sheriff Mike Meehan and the state Highway Patrol. The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks already turned its portion of the investigation over to Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan.