Teen Boy Dies After Fall in Glacier Park

Spencer Flerchinger, 15, of Kamiah, Idaho was exploring Haystack Creek when he slipped in and fell 100 feet

By Molly Priddy

A 15-year-old boy from Idaho died after falling into Haystack Creek in Glacier National Park.

Park rangers were alerted to the fall on July 31 at 4:30 p.m., after Spencer Flerchinger of Kamiah, Idaho had fallen approximately 100 feet below Going-to-the-Sun Road in Haystack Creek. Flerchinger did not survive the fall.

Witnesses reported that he was exploring the culvert that runs beneath Going-to-the-Sun Road, slipped into the creek, was carried through, and fell about 100 below the roadway.

Going-to-the-Sun Road was restricted to one-lane travel for three hours on Tuesday evening near the incident, and was temporarily closed to both directions of travel for 10 minutes while rangers secured the scene and recovered Flerchinger’s body from a ledge below the road.

The investigation into the fall is ongoing, but Glacier Park spokesperson Lauren Alley said “no suspicious circumstances have been noted.”

This fatality follows a similar death in July of 2017 at Haystack Creek when a person fell into the creek above the culvert while taking a photograph.

The park asked visitors to use extreme caution while recreating in Glacier:

“Unpredictable wildlife, extreme natural features, and other hazards exist in nearly all locations, including areas that may seem relatively safe. Glacier has 42 named waterfalls in addition to unnamed creeks and falls, and tens of miles of roadway that border steep cliffs. Falls in and near water features are a leading cause of death and visitors should avoid areas with slippery rocks that might result in a significant fall.

Glacier National Park staff extend their deepest condolences to the victim’s family and friends.”

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