Columbia Falls man dies in water accident at Glacier NP
By: Mark Thorsell
Posted at 3:26 PM, Aug 31,
WEST GLACIER — A man died over the weekend while on the
Flathead River in Glacier National Park.
Park rangers responded to a report of CPR in progress near
Glacier Rim on the North Fork of the Flathead River shortly before 5:45 p.m. on
Ronald Newton, 62, of Columbia Falls, flipped his fishing
pontoon boat while floating the river with a group band became submerged in the
water, according to a news release.
More than an hour of CPR was performed before Newton was
declared deceased. The exact cause of his death remains under investigation.
According to Glacier National Park spokeswoman Gina
Kerzman, witness reports state the group was floating the river Saturday when
two pontoon boats tied together became stuck on a rock.
Newton attempted to free the boats when his own watercraft
flipped, and he submerged in the water.
A friend pulled Newton from the water and several
bystanders initiated CPR on a nearby gravel bar. Reports indicate he was not
wearing a personal flotation device or a helmet at the time of the incident.
North Valley Search and Rescue, the Flathead County
Sheriff’s Office, the Blankenship Rural Fire District, and A.L.E.R.T. all
responded to the scene.