Glacier Park

Glacier Park Officials Identify Avalanche Creek Drowning Victim

Atheer Abdulrahman S. Alquahtani, a University of Kansas student from Saudi Arabia, died May 22 after falling from a rocky overhang into the gorge

By Beacon Staff
A photographer snaps a picture along Avalanche Creek in Glacier National Park on Aug. 25, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Glacier National Park officials on Friday identified the woman who drowned May 22 in Avalanche Creek as 28-year-old University of Kansas student Atheer Abdulrahman S. Alquahtani. The Saudi Arabia-born woman had recently completed her first year of a graduate-school program in Lawrence, Kan., and was on a road-trip tour of national parks to celebrate, according to friends traveling with Alquahtani.

“Friends described her as a risk taker who loved getting in and being near water,” according to a Friday press release from Glacier Park. 

On Monday afternoon, Alquahtani fell off a rocky overhang into Avalanche Creek and was swept into the gorge. When bystanders spotted her in the creek passing beneath the bridge of a popular hiking path called Trail of the Cedars, they waded into the water and pulled her out. They immediately began CPR and sent other bystanders to notify rangers and call 911, the press release states.

Flathead County dispatch received and diverted the call to Glacier National Park dispatch. National Park Service staff, ALERT and Three Rivers Ambulance mobilized after learning about the incident.

Alquahtani was declared deceased by ALERT personnel at the side of the creek. Rangers litter-carried her out to the Avalanche Lake trailhead where she was then transferred to funeral services, the release states.

Law enforcement investigators say there are no indications of foul play.

“The area where this incident occurred is off-trail and many visitors take the same risk,” the release states. “Water related incidents like this are the number one cause of death at Glacier National Park. Visitors are asked to take extra precautions when approaching areas with water, especially during spring runoff.”

Water pours over rocks along Avalanche Creek. Beacon file photo

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