ROCKVILLE, Washington County — Two people are dead after a massive boulder slammed into a house during a rock slide Thursday.
The slide occurred on state Route 9 on the west end of Rockville just before 5 p.m, sending the boulder into the center of the home, Springdale Police Chief Kurt Wright confirmed.
"It's huge, I don't know how to describe it," Wright said. "It was larger than the house and it was a two-story house."
The bodies of two people inside the home were located in the rubble but won't be removed until daylight Friday because of safety concerns. The two were not identified Thursday night.
Officers believe the boulder became loose and headed down the mountain as frost and ice around it began to thaw Thursday.
The boulder traveled about a quarter of a mile down the mountain, Wright said, hitting the house that sits about 50 yards from state Route 9. A second large boulder landed in the yard and others were scattered around the house, Wright said.
No nearby houses were hit, though residents were asked to voluntarily evacuate out of concern of a second slide, Wright said. Those residents were back in their homes Thursday night.8 comments on this story
No debris blocked the road, though traffic backed up immediately following the slide when a large dust cloud went up as the house was hit.
"When my officer arrived on scene, it was just a big cloud of dust and traffic was stopped, not knowing what was going on, there was so much debris and dust in the air," Wright said. "A lot of people stopped and got out and ran up to help."
Traffic was limited to one lane as emergency crews from multiple agencies responded, Wright said. The road was open again by 8 p.m.