26-year-old woman drowns after slipping into creek at Glacier National Park

Other park visitors pulled the woman from the water, NPS said.

June 25, 2024, 6:11 PM

A 26-year-old woman drowned after falling into a creek at a national park in Montana and getting trapped underwater for several minutes, officials said.

The woman slipped on slick rocks and fell into Virginia Creek between St. Mary Falls and Virginia Falls at Glacier National Park late Sunday afternoon, according to the National Park Service (NPS). The agency identified the woman on Tuesday as Gillian Tones from North Apollo, Pennsylvania.

NPS initially reported that Tones was swept over St. Mary's Falls, though said in an update Tuesday that witnesses later clarified that she slipped and fell into the creek.

"Tones was quickly swept up by the cold, fast moving water and went over a series of smaller waterfalls, then was pinned underwater by a log for several minutes until heroic efforts by other park visitors led to pulling her from the river," NPS said in a statement.

Park dispatch received multiple 911 calls and park rangers were on the scene at 5:45 p.m. MT, approximately 25 minutes after the incident was first reported, NPS said.

View from boat on Upper Waterton Lake.
National Park Service

Bystanders, park rangers and ambulance personnel assisted with resuscitation efforts. An ALERT helicopter landed at about 6:20 p.m. MT and medics also assisted with resuscitation efforts, though Tones never regained consciousness, NPS said. She was pronounced dead at approximately 7 p.m. MT. Sunday.

NPS thanked the first responders and "numerous bystanders" for their assistance.

"The park extends their deepest condolences to family and friends of Tones and asks that the public respect their privacy," NPS said.

This story has been updated.