A 14-year-old Utah girl visiting Glacier National Park in Montana with her family was killed when a rockfall struck their vehicle on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
The family’s vehicle was near the East Tunnel on the road about 7 p.m. Monday when the rocks fell onto the vehicle, shattering the rear windshield, fatally injuring the girl, and injuring her parents and two other children in the vehicle, park staff said Tuesday.
A.L.E.R.T. air ambulance responded, but was unable to airlift the girl because of her unstable condition. Flight paramedics traveled with her via ground ambulance to Kalispell, Montana. The girl died while being transported to a local hospital, a park release said. The two adults suffered significant bruises and were transported to area hospitals by Babb and Browning ground ambulance. The two other children in the vehicle had minor injuries and also went by ambulance to the hospital.
The rocks that hit the vehicle were between fist-sized and 12 inches in diameter, park staff said. The park estimates that the amount of debris could have filled the bed of a pickup truck. The rocks fell from an unknown height from the mountains above the road.
The girl’s name and family’s hometown was not immediately released.
The last fatal injury from rockfall on the Going-to-the-Sun Road was in 1996 when a vehicle was struck by a falling rock in the Rimrocks section of the road, just west of Logan Pass. Going-to-the-Sun Road was closed at the East Tunnel for approximately three hours on Monday night while the park road crew cleared the rocks and a tow truck removed the vehicle.