Woman Falls, and Drowns, in Glacier National Park
(UPDATE: May 26, 2023, at 10:24 a.m.)
Rangers have released the identity of the woman who fell into a rushing stream in Glacier National Park this week and drowned as a student who was visiting the park.
Authorities say University of Kansas student Atheer Abdulrahman S. Alquahtani fell into the gorge on Avalanche Creek Monday while she was off trail. Alquahtani is from Saudi Arabia and was living in Lawrence, Kansas while attending school.
Friends say she had just finished her first year of school and was on a road tour of national parks to celebrate. They told rangers she was "a risk taker" who loved getting in and "being near water."
The park says many visitors take the same risk trying to reach the same point where she fell. They remind everyone water-related accidents are the number one cause of death in Glacier National Park, and people should be especially careful now during spring runoff.
(FIRST REPORT: May 23, 2023, at 12:49 p.m.)
Glacier National Park Rangers say a Kansas tourist has died after falling over a rocky cliff into a creek and drowning on the west side of the park.
The accident happened Monday afternoon on Avalanche Creek, one of the most popular day hiking areas in the park.
Park investigators say the 28-year-old woman, whose name wasn't immediately released, was climbing on a "rocky overhang" when she fell into the creek and was swept into the gorge.
Authorities say bystanders spotted her in the water passing under the bridge of Trail of the Cedars and were able to wade into the rushing water and pull her to shore. They say the group immediately began CPR, sending others to find rangers and call 911.
Flathead County relayed the call to GNP dispatch, which sent NPS staff, ALERT, and Three Rivers Ambulance to the scene. But ALERT medics determined she was deceased at the scene. Rangers carried her body out of the trail and she was then transferred to funeral services.
Park staff are thanking the bystanders who rendered aid, and also the other agencies in helping with the attempted rescue. The park is also extending its "deepest condolences" to the family and friends of the victim.
The accident is a tragic reminder of the two greatest causes of death in Glacier National Park, which are falls and drowning. The park continually reminds visitors to use caution when exploring areas where there are fast-moving streams and waterfalls.