Very sad news coming out of Colorado today. A rockslide “the size of several football fields” killed 5 people at a vista point at Agnes Vaille Falls in Northrop in South-Central Colorado on Monday. One 13-year-old girl survived the slide and was the only person to do so. She suffered a broken leg. Sadly, it appears that the 5 people who died were members of the girl’s immediate family.
“I heard a scream next to me — I saw a hand sticking out underneath the boulder.” – Deputy Nick Tolsma told 7News
Nick ran towards the scream, removed some boulders, and successfully extracted the 13-year-old girl.
The true hero is her dad. She [the survivor] siad her dad jumped on top of her to protect her right at the last moment when the rocks were coming down.” – Deputy Nick Tolsma told 7NEWS
The rockslide came down onto the popular Agnes Vaille Falls viewing area half a mile up a popular hiking trail. The slide reportedly left a football-field sized mark below 14,197-foot Mount Princeton. A hiker who heard the rockslide ran down the trail and alerted authorities.
Rescuers arrived quickly and discovered the bodies of 5 hikers and the injured 13-year-old girl. Boulders were still coming down as the rescuers were operating. Eventually, they had to leave the area due to instability in the rock faces above.
The slide reportedly came out of nowhere and may have been the result of the recent heavy rains/500-year flood in Colorado.
“It was totally unexpected. It caught everybody by surprise. Since July, we’ve had a lot of rain and snow here, too. There’s been a lot of moisture in the ground and it’s probably made the ground unstable,”” – Chaffee County Undersheriff John Spezze told 7NEWS
Engineers are currently investigating the stability of the area before the body extraction is completed.
The rockslide occurred at approximately 11am on Monday, September 30th on the on the trail that leads to Agnes Vaille Falls in the Pike & San Isabel National Forest of Colorado. This location is about a 2.5 hour drive from Denver, CO.
“Agnes Vaille, the waterfall’s namesake, was a Denver mountaineer who died in 1925 while attempting a difficult winter climb of Longs Peak, elevation 14,259 feet.” – Huffington Post