Park Service - Rangers were notified of an overdue hiker on the
Bright Angel Trail on the evening of November 28. An investigator
interviewed family members and gathered information while a hasty
search of the trail was conducted. Additional hasty teams were
deployed early the following morning; they were augmented by a park
helicopter that searched the area below Plateau Point and north of
Indian Gardens on the Tonto Plateau. A spotter on the helicopter
located the body about 600 feet below the point. The victimís
description matched that of the missing hiker. As rangers began
organizing for a recovery operation, dispatch received several
reports of a possible fall from the Bright Angel Trail.
Rescuers headed down the trail and reached the victim within a few
minutes. The person had fallen about 150 feet and suffered fatal
injuries. An expanded ICS operation was put into place, with a
division supervisor assigned to each incident. Peer counselors were
assigned to the family and friends of each of the victims to help
them deal with their respective losses and to assist with logistical
needs. Rescuers conducted aerial reconnaissance of each site to
determine the safest and most efficient way to access, document and
extract the bodies. Separate teams were then deployed to document the
accident scenes and remove the bodies.
the causes of the falls are underway. Ranger KJ Glover served as
operations chief for the incident.
[Submitted by Hunter Bailey, Incident Commander]