The 14-year-old girl from Utah who was killed by falling rock in Montana’s Glacier National Park this week has been identified by friends who have started a fundraiser to help the teen’s devastated family.
Ayva Sparrow, from Farr West, Utah, was travelling with her parents and two siblings in the family pickup truck along the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road when the rock fall took place at around 7pm on Monday.
Rocks ranging from fist-sized to 12 inches in diameter shattered the rear windshield on the vehicle, killing the girl and injuring the rest of the family.
According to the GoFundMe campaign launched by a loved one on Wednesday, the Sparrow family were on their way to Canada for a vacation when the tragic accident occurred.
‘The Sparrow’s are a very close knit family. They loved going on adventures and spending time with each other,’ the fundraiser’s description read.
The organizers of the online campaign remembered Ayva as a girl with ‘contagious personality’ who ‘could light up any room she entered.’
On her old Facebook page, Ayva described herself as a cheerleader and drummer who loved animals, hiking and cooking.
‘Reading was her favorite activity,’ the GoFundMe page stated. ‘She loves cats, her dog, friends and most of all her little sister. Ayva will be missed dearly by her family and community.’
Family friend Daniel Walker told the station KUTV the entire community of Farr West has rallied around the Sparrows in their darkest hour.
‘It’s a true loss to the community, obviously a true loss to their family,’ Walker said. ‘We are going to miss Ayva.’
Walker said he got a text message from Ayva’s father at around 1.30am on Tuesday explaining what had happened.
‘One of the things the father wrote to me in text is, “Make sure you hug your kids this morning and tell them you love them,”’ Walker revealed.
Park officials said in a press release addressing the fatality that the falling rocks left Ayva’s parents with ‘significant bruises while the other children in the car had minor injuries.
A helicopter was sent to the site of the accident but the 14-year-old’s condition was too ‘unstable’ for her to be airlifted.
Pat Cummings told CBS news she was driving down the road when traffic came to a standstill after the rockfall.
‘I could clearly hear a woman crying frantically, screaming, you know, “Please help her. Someone please just help her,”‘ Cummings said.
Eventually, an ambulance was brought in to take Ayva to Kalispell Regional Medical Center, but she died as she was being transported.
It took crews about three hours to remove the damaged vehicle, clear the debris and re-open the road.
Parks officials said there were enough rocks scattered on the roadway to fill the bed of a pickup truck.
The last fatal injury from falling rocks on the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road was in 1996.
‘The park extends its deepest condolences to the girl’s family, and thanks its partner emergency care providers for the significant response,’ a news release by the park states.