A mountain rockfall tumbled onto a family truck on the picturesque Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park on Aug. 13, killing a 14-year-old girl and leaving four others injured.
Officials at the park in Montana estimated that the rocks, which ranged from fist-sized to a foot in diameter, rained down on the truck, according to local reports, as it approached a tunnel on the popular road that winds through the mountainside.
“The two adults suffered significant bruises and were transported to area hospitals,” the park said in a statement, reported CNN. The two other children in the vehicle had minor injuries and also went by ambulance to the hospital.
An air ambulance was called in, but could not transport the girl due to her unstable condition, the park said.
She died in an ambulance on her way to the hospital.
The girl is from Utah, authorities said, according to the Missoulian, but her name has not been released.
The death of the teenager is the first from a rockfall on the immensely popular road since 1996, when a vehicle was hit west of Logan Pass.
A picture obtained by NBC shows rocks and debris scattered across the road in front of a tunnel.
A GNP tourist just sent me this photo of the rock fall in Glacier National Park yesterday. A 14-year-old girl died after the rocks hit the truck she was in. Four others also went to the hospital with injuries. #mtnews #GNP #NBCMontana pic.twitter.com/cml6pX4mfp
— Maritsa Georgiou (@MaritsaNBCMT) August 13, 2019
The park said that the rockfall amounted to about enough to fill a flatbed truck.
“The park extends its deepest condolences to the girl’s family and thanks its partner emergency care providers for the significant response,” Glacier National Park said in the statement, according to NBC.
Going-to-the Sun Road is closed during winter, but during the summer becomes a highly popular drive for tourists who want to take in the dramatic mountain scenery of the park.
Founded in 1910, and drawing in almost 3 million visitors a year Glacier National Park squeaks into the top 10 list of the most popular of America’s 60 designated national parks.
With tourist season in full swing in summer, the number of accidents at national parks rises.
Lucian Miu, 21, died at a hospital on July 31, after slipping at Bridalveil Fall, reported ABC. Miu had left the path and headed past the warning signs onto the rocks close to the base of the fall.
Yosemite National Parks said in an Aug. 3 statement that there had been three “significant” incidents that week at the slippery bases of waterfalls, including one fatality.