MOUNT RAINIER, Wash. -- A rockfall with truck-sized boulders fell at Mount Rainier National Park, hitting and damaging an unoccupied vehicle. No one was hurt, but Westside Road near the park's southwest entrance is closed to the public until further notice.
On Thursday, a park crew discovered several large boulders - one larger than a truck - strewn all over the parking area and road in the Dry Creek public parking. A vehicle that had been parked there was damaged when one of the boulders apparently hit it on the driver's side, damaged the vehicle and nearly pushed it over the road's edge.
Large craters, one at least eight feet in diameter and three feet deep, were created by the impact of the falling boulders. Park officials say the rockfall appeared to have started on Mount Wow, which towers above the Westside Road.
In addition to the vehicle, a park gate and welded steel separation box in the area were damaged.
The park's geomorphologist and crew were assessing the cause and the likelihood of another rockfall in the area. Once experts determine the area safe, crews will remove the boulders, repair the road and reopen the road back to the public.
Until then, the public - which includes cars, bicycles and pedestrians - will be required to stay off of Westside Road.