A 14-year-old girl died Monday from injuries she suffered when falling rocks struck her vehicle on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.
According to a press release from Glacier National Park, around 7 p.m. on Monday night rockfall near the East Tunnel on Going-to-the-Sun Road struck the westbound vehicle, which was carrying the girl and four other people.
The rocks hit the top of the vehicle and shattered the rear windshield, fatally injuring the girl and also injuring her parents and two other children in the vehicle.
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. The girl died while being transported to a local hospital.
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 were carried by ambulance to the hospital.
The family was visiting the park from Utah. The girl’s name and hometown will be released once family notifications have been completed. The family asks for privacy at this time.
The rocks that hit the vehicle were between fist-sized and 12 inches in diameter. 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 last fatal injury from rockfall on Going-to-the-Sun Road occurred in 1996 when a vehicle was struck by a falling rock along the Rimrocks section of the road, just west of Logan Pass, according to the park.
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.
In a press release, the park extended its deepest condolences to the girl’s family and thanked its partner emergency care providers for the significant response.