A 44-year-old man wearing a full-body camouflage suit was struck and killed on U.S. Highway 93 south of Kalispell on Sunday night, apparently while trying to stage a Bigfoot hoax.

Randy Lee Tenley of Kalispell was standing in the middle of the righthand, southbound lane of the highway dressed in a military-style ghillie suit when two cars rounded a slight bend and could not avoid hitting the man. He suffered massive trauma and died at the scene, according to Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Jim Schneider. The crash occurred at about 10:30 p.m. at mile marker post 106.9.

“The camouflage suit was dark and subdued. It’s designed to break up a silhouette and blend in with your surroundings,” Schneider said, adding that the suit has strips of burlap designed to accept leaves and foliage. “It definitely hindered the ability of people to see him on the highway.”

Tenley was alone when he was hit and no one witnessed the crash directly, Schneider said. However, another member of Tenley’s party arrived at the crash scene soon after and spoke with the trooper about Tenley’s intentions.

“We can only speculate as to his exact intentions, but according to another member of his party his intention was to get people to believe they saw a sasquatch,” Schneider said. “It is a bizarre set of circumstances and it is certainly tragic.”

Schneider said he believes alcohol was involved, but he does not know whether Tenley was intoxicated.

None of the minor drivers had been drinking, and one teenage occupant of a vehicle that struck Tenley was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

Reporter Tristan Scott can be reached at (406) 531-9745 or at tscott@missoulian.com.

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