Three people were injured when a vehicle went off the Going-to-the-Sun Road Monday near Packer’s Roost in Glacier National Park about 5 p.m., in what was a very busy day for park rangers.
The vehicle went off the road and down the embankment about 40 feet after it swerved to avoid another car that had stopped to watch a bear.
Rangers responded and rappelled down the slope to rescue the victim. They had to cut down several trees so the tow truck could remove the wrecked vehicle. Two people were transported by ambulance and a third by the ALERT helicopter.
Their names were not released.
The accident tied up traffic for almost three hours on the Sun Road.
Also around 5 p.m. on Monday, park rangers responded to a call at Lake Josephine for a visitor who suffered an open ankle fracture after falling from a horse. Rescuers carried the patient to the trailhead, where an ALERT helicopter met them to take the injured rider to the hospital.
During these two incidents, the park also responded to a report of an infant locked in a car, two missing parties, a bear struck by a car on U.S. Highway 2 outside the park, a DUI arrest in Many Glacier, and an abandoned dog at Logan Pass Visitor Center.
Glacier says visitors need to come prepared, as even a minor accident on the road can tie up traffic for hours.
“Unexpected incidents in the park can have significant consequences for visitors,” said Superintendent Jeff Mow. “Always carry extra food and water, even if you are not planning on hiking into the backcountry. You should always plan for the unplanned, including delays along the road or elsewhere.”
The Park says law enforcement and emergency services incidents year to date are up 40 percent over 2018. Total calls for service are up 500 more calls year to date over 2018 figures.