A Memorial Day hike ended in tragedy when a man lost his balance and plummeted 500 feet to his death off the summit ridge. On Monday, May 31, the incident happened when a three-person hiking group was making their way along the summit ridge of Mount Russell in California’s Sequoia National Park, and a 56-year-old man from San Jose, California, suddenly lost his balance.
Another member of the group, a 45-year-old woman from Milpitas, California, made an attempt to rescue him by grabbing the man as he was falling but ended up being pulled down herself.
The man ended up falling approximately 500 feet to his death off of the mountain’s summit, while the woman ended up falling about 30 feet before she was able to self-arrest and save her own life, although she was left badly injured.
The third member of the hiking group immediately used a satellite device locator beacon to declare an emergency and managed to call emergency services from his cell phone to report the accident. Fortunately, a helicopter crew was relatively nearby, tending to an unconscious hiker, and were able to respond to the emergency quickly.
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