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Man falls to his death in Grand Canyon – two women hit by lightning on Friday

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Date: October 4, 2010
Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 928-638-7779

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – A Burbank, California man fell to his death on Friday at Grand Canyon National Park. An eyewitness report indicated the man was trying to jump from one outcropping to another, just off the rim trail, when he fell around 1:00 p.m. on Friday, October 1. The incident occurred between Pipe Creek Vista and the Visitor Center on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. 

Park rangers responded after receiving a call from the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center, and with the help from a National Park Service helicopter crew returning from a flight below the rim, found his body located approximately 500 feet below the rim.

The man has been identified as 42-year-old Andrew N. Stires.

Because of high winds and lightning activity Friday afternoon, park rangers were not able to recover his body until the following day.

Also on Friday, at approximately 2:45 p.m., two women were struck by lightning on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The two women, both from Seoul, Korea, were standing on the rim east of the Visitor Center when they were struck. Park rangers believe both women were hit by a secondary strike.

One woman, 45-years of age, was taken by Guardian Air to the Flagstaff Medical Center where she was treated and released, according to a spokesperson from the Flagstaff Medical Center. The other woman, also 45-years of age, was taken to the Northland Community Health Center in Grand Canyon National Park, where she too was treated and released.

The weather forecast in the Grand Canyon Region calls for continued showers and thunderstorms through Thursday. Park rangers advise that lightning can strike 10 miles across the canyon. Park visitors and residents should stay away from exposed points during storms and lightning activity. Hair standing on end is a warning that an electrical charge is building near you and a warning that lightning may strike. If this occurs, move away from the rim immediately. The safest place to be during a thunderstorm is inside a building or a vehicle with the windows closed. Avoid touching metal railings when lightning activity is nearby.

When visiting Grand Canyon National Park, whether in the backcountry or walking along the rim, always be aware of your surroundings and current weather conditions. Keep a safe distance from the edge and to pay close attention to your footing and the condition of the ground surface.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

WHITEWATER RAFTING

There are different river trip opportunities through Grand Canyon National Park, including professionally guided raft trips, available to the public and often reserved a year or two in advance; and self-guided, or "private" river trips, made available to the public through a weighted lottery. More...