Pennsylvania woman plunges to death after being swept over waterfall at Glacier National Park

She fell about 35 feet and was trapped under the water for several minutes.

ByJon Haworth ABCNews logo
Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Pennsylvania woman plunges to death after being swept over waterfall at Glacier National Park
A 26-year-old Pennsylvania woman drowned after being swept over a waterfall on the east side of Glacier National Park, park officials said.

WEST GLACIER, Mont. -- A 26-year-old woman has drowned after being swept over a waterfall and getting trapped under the gushing water for several minutes, officials said.

The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon when authorities began receiving multiple 911 calls routed through Glacier County dispatch at approximately 5:20 p.m. saying that an unnamed 26-year-old woman from Pennsylvania was swept over St. Mary's Falls on the east side of Glacier National Park in Montana and fell approximately 35 feet into the water below, according to a statement from the National Park Service (NPS) released on Monday.

"According to witnesses, the woman was washed over the falls and trapped under water for several minutes," NPS said. "Bystanders pulled her from the water below the falls and administered CPR until emergency responders arrived. Park rangers and Babb ambulance personnel took over CPR upon arrival."

Park rangers were on the scene at 5:45 p.m., approximately 25 minutes after the incident was first reported, NPS said.

An ALERT helicopter landed nearby shortly after for further support at about 6:20 pm and assisted with resuscitation efforts but the victim never regained consciousness.

"Resuscitation efforts were terminated at about 7 pm and ALERT personnel pronounced the woman deceased," NPS said. "ALERT flew the body to the 1913 Ranger Station near St. Mary, MT where they were met by the Glacier County coroner at about 7:30 pm. The coroner is transporting the body to the medical examiner in Missoula, MT for an autopsy."

The death is currently under investigation while additional details are still being gathered and the victim's next of kin is currently being notified in advance of releasing the woman's name.

"Park staff would like to thank Glacier County, ALERT, Babb Ambulance and U.S. Border Patrol for their support, along with numerous bystanders for their immediate assistance," NPS said. "The park extends their deepest condolences to family and friends of the woman and asks that the public respect their privacy."

This accident comes just days after a couple from Chester County, Pennsylvania, drowned after being caught in a rip current while vacationing with their six children in Florida.

The Florida victims have been identified as 51-year-old Brian Warter and his 48-year-old girlfriend, Erica Wishard, both of Downingtown.