Rescuer Realizes Dead Climber Is His Ex-Wife
'It never even dawned on me that she might be there'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2016 5:53 PM CST

(Newser) – A volunteer rescuer was shocked to learn the body he was sent to retrieve from a popular New Mexico climbing spot was his ex-wife's, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports. Scott Hicks and his fellow rescuers were called to Diablo Canyon on Monday after a 59-year-old woman fell 175 feet to her death. He heard another climber on the scene mention an address he recognized and realized the dead climber was his one-time wife of 19 years, Susan Sarossy. "It never even dawned on me that she might be there," Hicks tells the New York Daily News. Hicks, who has a 25-year-old daughter with Sarossy, says his ex-wife started rock climbing when they were together to deal with her fear of heights, the New Mexican reports.

Sarossy was bringing up the rear of her small climbing group on Monday and "cleaning the anchors" as she went, the New Mexican reports. A fellow climber told deputies that he doesn't know what happened, but Sarossy—an experienced climber—may have pushed away from the rock before properly anchoring herself, per the Albuquerque Journal. It was her group's last climb of the day. Three doctors climbing with another group saw her fall and tried to help her with no luck. One of the doctors says the fall left Sarossy with broken legs and "major head trauma." Hicks remembers Sarossy as a "great mother," the Daily News notes. "She was very free and giving of her time, very nonjudgemental." (This tiny teen girl is already a giant in the climbing world.)