Hiker Plunges 50 Feet to His Death at Grand Canyon

It's been a deadly year at the park
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2021 8:00 AM CDT
Hiker Plunges 50 Feet to His Death at Grand Canyon
Deer Creek Narrows in Grand Canyon National Park   (NPS.gov)

A Grand Canyon hiker died Aug. 28 after plunging 50 feet while navigating a narrow path. Per abc15.com, the hiker has been identified as 48-year-old David Colburn of Oregon. Per Backpacker.com, teams of rescuers responded but were forced to suspend the search as darkness descended and due to the complexity of the terrain in the Deer Creek Narrows section of the park, where the tragedy occurred. Colburn's body was recovered the following day. Loved ones took to Facebook to post about the accident Aug. 30. "Sad unbelievable news. Our sweet mailman and Tyghvalley fire chief and FRIEND David Colburn has passed away. Rip sweet soul," one person wrote.

Colburn died while hiking during a non-commercial river trip. An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the NPS and the Coconino County Medical Examiner's Office, per a press release. Colburn's death comes during a particularly deadly year for Grand Canyon National Park, which averages 12 fatalities each year. Colburn's was the 18th in 2021. Earlier in August, the body of missing man Gabor Berczi-Tomcsanyi was recovered approximately 430 feet below the rim of the canyon, per an NPS release. In July, two other hikers were found dead five days apart. (More Grand Canyon stories.)

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