Girl killed by falling rocks in Glacier Park

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A bighorn sheep watches the traffic below the east side tunnel of the Going-to-the-Sun Road in this file photo. (Chris Peterson photo file)

A 14-year-old girl died Monday from injuries she suffered when falling rocks struck a vehicle on the Going-to-the-Sun Road in which she was a passenger, according to a press release from Glacier National Park.

The girl and four other people were traveling westbound on the road near the East Tunnel around 7 p.m. when 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, according to the press release.

The rocks that hit the vehicle were between fist-sized and 12 inches in diameter and fell from an unknown height from the mountains above the road. The park estimates the amount of debris could have filled the bed of a pickup truck.

A.L.E.R.T. air ambulance responded to the scene but was unable to airlift the girl due to her unstable condition. Flight paramedics traveled with her via ground ambulance to Kalispell. The girl died while being transported to a local hospital. The adults and other children were transported to area hospitals by Babb and Browning ground ambulance.

The family was visiting from Utah. The girl’s name and hometown will be released once family notifications have been completed, according to the press release.

The road was closed at the East Tunnel for approximately three hours Monday night following the event.

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.

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