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Visitor Dies After Fall in Yellowstone National Park

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Date: June 17, 2006
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012

A visitor from Michigan slipped and fell to her death in Yellowstone National Park Saturday morning.

The 52 year old woman, her husband and two children had stopped their vehicle at an overlook along the road about three-quarters of a mile north of the Tower Fall area around 10 o’clock Saturday morning. The woman stepped over a small rock retaining wall to take a photo when she lost her footing, slipped down an embankment and then went over a cliff. She fell about 500 feet, coming to rest near the Yellowstone River.

The woman’s husband flagged down a passing motorist who called 911 for help. Rangers responding to the scene could see the woman through a spotting scope lying immobile on the canyon floor. High, fast moving water prevented rescuers from reaching the woman by raft.

A ranger rappelled down the canyon wall to reach the woman. She was declared dead at the scene. Her body was then placed in a litter suspended by cable from a helicopter and flown out of the area Saturday afternoon.

The woman’s identity is being withheld pending notification of family members. This is the second fatal accident in Yellowstone National Park this year. Back in February, a woman from was killed in a snowmobile accident along the road east of Norris Geyser Basin.

Did You Know?

Fire in Yellowstone Pineland in 1988

The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.