Report: Dad died saving daughter in Chaffee County rockslide
CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — Five people were killed when a rockslide buried them Monday at a popular hiking area near Buena Vista. A sixth person, a teenage girl, was hurt and pulled from the rubble.
The Chaffee County Sheriff says rescuers have not been able to reach the victims yet. The area is unstable. The slide happened along the Agnes Vaille Falls at Mt. Princeton around 11 a.m.
Police say 13-year-old Gracie Johnson was airlifted to Colorado Children’s Hospital in Aurora after the slide. Her condition was not known.
While authorities have not released the identities of the dead, the Denver Post, citing Sheriff Pete Palmer, said the girl was hiking with members of her family, including her mother and father.
In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Tolsma said the girl told rescuers her father saved her life.
“The true hero here is her dad,” Tolsma told the ABC show. “She said her dad jumped on top of her to protect her right at the last moment when the rocks were coming down.”
A helicopter and engineers including experts from the Climax Mine near Leadville were on the scene working on how to reach the victims’ bodies.
The Sheriff expected recovery operations for those trapped to resume Tuesday morning.
Agnes Vaille Falls is a popular hiking trail because of its short length (about 1 mile roundtrip).
The cause of the rockslide is not known, but Palmer said heavy rain this month in Colorado may have been a contributing factor.
CNN contributed to this report.Submit Your Photo