Update: Tuesday, June 25th, 8:30am

The woman who drowned near St. Mary Falls on the east side of Glacier National Park Sunday has been identified as 26-year-old Gillian Tones from North Apollo, Pa.

And Glacier National Park officials are clarifying how Sunday's accident happened.

It was first reported that Tones went into the water above St. Mary Falls but witnesses later clarified that she slipped on wet, slick rocks and fell into Virginia Creek between St. Mary and Virginia Falls, about 200 yards above the trail bridge.
Rangers say 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.

Original post Monday, June 24

Glacier National Park rangers say a young woman from Pennsylvania drowned after being swept over a waterfall on the east side of the park over the weekend.

They are still investigating the details of the mishap, but say it appears the woman drowned after being carried over the falls and then being trapped underwater for several minutes.

It's the latest example of a visitor drowning in the park, where water mishaps are one of the leading causes of death.

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The Accident Happened at St. Mary

Rangers say the 26-year-old woman, whose name wasn't immediately released, got into trouble after she fell into the water above St. Mary Falls. The falls, on the park's east side, are 35 feet high and a popular destination for day hikers.

Witnesses told rangers the woman was swept over the falls around 5:20 pm and then trapped under the water for "several minutes". Investigators say bystanders were able to pull the woman from the stream and were able to administer CPR until emergency crews and an ALERT helicopter team could get to the scene and take over life-saving efforts, however, the victim never regained consciousness.

The woman was pronounced dead at 7 pm, just over an hour after rangers made it to the scene, and 40 minutes after the helicopter arrived.

RELATED: How Most People Die in Glacier & Yellowstone National Parks

Investigation Continues

The woman's body is being transported to the medical examiner in Missoula for an autopsy. Next of kin is being notified before the woman's name is released and park investigators are continuing to gather additional details.

GNP staff are thanking Glacier County, ALERT, Babb Ambulance crews, and the U.S. Border Patrol for helping and extending "deepest condolences" to the family.

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