A 14-year-old girl from Utah died Monday night after her family’s truck was crushed by rocks falling onto Going-to-the-Sun Road.
On Tuesday, Glacier National Park officials released this account of the tragedy:
Rockfall near the Sun Road’s East Tunnel struck a truck at about 7 p.m. Monday. A family of five was inside; the parents and three children all were injured.
The 14-year-old girl suffered the most serious injuries after rocks hit the top of the truck and shattered the rear windshield.
The rocks that hit the vehicle were between fist-sized and 12 inches in diameter. Park officials estimated the debris could have filled the bed of a pickup.
It is not known how far the rocks fell before striking the family.
Kalispell’s ALERT air ambulance responded, but could not transport the seriously injured girl because her condition was so unstable. Instead, flight paramedics rode with her in a ground ambulance to Kalispell. She died en route.
The two adults suffered significant bruises, according to the park’s written report. They were taken to area hospitals by ground ambulances from Babb and Browning. The two other children in the car had minor injuries, but were also taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Glacier Park records show the last fatal injury from rockfall on Going-to-the-Sun Road was in 1996. That time, the accident occurred just west of Logan Pass, in the Rimrocks area.
Going-to-the-Sun Road was closed at the East Tunnel for about three hours on Monday night while the park road crew cleared the rocks and a tow truck removed the vehicle.
This story was originally published by the Missoula Current here.