Columbia Falls Man Dies After Boat Flips on North Fork
Ronald Newton, 62, was floating near Glacier Rim on western
edge of Glacier National Park when his fishing pontoon capsized
BY ANDY VIANO
AUG 31, 2020
Flathead Beacon, Kalispell, MT
A 62-year-old Columbia Falls man is dead after his boat
flipped on the North Fork Flathead River near the Glacier Rim river access site
on the western edge of Glacier National Park on Saturday.
According to a press release issued by the park, Ronald
Newton was part of a group floating the river when two pontoon boats became
stuck on a rock. Newton, in a third boat, was attempting to free the watercraft
when his own pontoon flipped, sending him into the water and rendering him
unconscious. A friend pulled Newton to a nearby gravel bar and several
bystanders performed CPR.
Additional rescue personnel later continued CPR for more
than an hour before Newton was pronounced dead. A cause of death has not been
determined. Newton was not wearing a personal flotation device or helmet at the
time of the incident.
Several agencies responded to the scene in the early
evening hours after park rangers received a report of CPR in progress at 5:42
p.m. Additional responders from North Valley Search and Rescue, A.L.E.R.T. air
ambulance, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and Blankenship Rural Fire
District assisted. The incident occurred approximately two miles north of
Glacier Rim, near Fool Hen Rapids.