5 killed in Colorado rockslide were from same family; 13-year-old girl stable

Rescuers dug Gracie out after the rockslide Monday. Chaffee County Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Tolsma said he saw Gracie’s hand sticking out from the boulders and helped pull her free. The girl told him that her father had protected her from the rocks, he said.

The five were hiking a popular trail below 14,000-foot Mount Princeton when several bounders came loose in a rockslide several football fields across. Another hiker saw it happen and called 911. Chaffee County Undersheriff John Spezze said some of the rocks weighed more than 100 tons and measured 8x10x20 feet.

“There was a cliff bank above the falls, and it looks like it slid off,” he told TODAY.

A man who called 911 said that he had not seen the family struck by the rocks, but he said a group of people came down the mountain upset and said that a woman had been hit in the head.

“Like a whole chunk of the mountain just slid down,” he told the dispatcher.

Dawna Johnson was a track coach at Buena Vista High School, authorities said. A memorial service was planned there Saturday.

The bodies have been transferred to the morgue in Salida, Colo., according to the county sheriff’s office.

Sophia Rosenbaum, Alexander Smith and Daniel Arkin of NBC News contributed to this report.

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