Rockfall kills girl on Glacier’s Sun Road

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A red bus head into the East Side Tunnel in Glacier National Park in this file photo. A girl was killed Monday after falling rocks hit her vehicle near the tunnel.

A 14-year-old girl died Monday from injuries she suffered when falling rocks struck a vehicle on Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier Park officials report.

Around 7 p.m. Monday, rock fall near the East Tunnel on Going-to-the-Sun Road struck the vehicle in which the girl and four other people were traveling westbound.

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.

The ALERT 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 went by ambulance to the hospital.

The family was visiting the park from Utah. The girl’s name and hometown was not released as of presstime. 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 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. 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.

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