A family is mourning the death of an 8-year-old girl who fell 550-feet to her death at Yellowstone National Park on Sunday.
According to a Reuters report, a Southern California girl fell to her death along a popular stretch of the park. Investigators say the family was walking on a 20-mile hiking trail, and traversing an ancient geological formation at the time of the deadly plunge. The path ended at a platform where Yellowstone visitors are able to view a waterfall in the Grand Canyon region.
Officials charged with reconstructing the Yellowstone accident and fatal fall said the 8-year-old girl lost her footing after stepping off the trail. Due to the steep incline and rugged terrain, a helicopter was called in to hoist the girl back up to the area from which she had taken the accidental fall.
Sadly, there was nothing rescuers could do to save the young hiker. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Mercury News wrote that the 8-year-old girl’s body was retrieved from the 550-feet plunge the same day.
Sources say Sunday’s fall marked the second fatal death at Yellow National Park over the weekend, and the third so far this year. Saturday, an aquatic team, trained for swift water situations, retrieved the dead body of a seasonal employee who was lost in the currents of Yellowstone River. Apparently, tubing along that stretch of the river is banned due to matters pertaining to safety.
Darien Latty, a park-goer from Georgia, died during a recent visit to the park. The 22-year-old went missing last Monday, and his body was found Saturday submerged by a large boulder in the northwestern region of Yellowstone’s park.
“Both of these incidents remind us of the need to be vigilant of your personal situation and that of those around you when visiting a wild place like Yellowstone,” Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash said.
Although many people fear dying or being seriously injured in a moose or bear attack, experts say you are more likely to die through some form of negligence. Therefore, it is important to exercise caution and follow all rules when visiting national parks.
Oftentimes, many people are anxious about being present at the historical venue to see things like “Old Faithful” or amazing waterfalls. However, being caught up in the moment or not paying attention to your next step can prove to be fatal.
The death of the 8-year-old girl from the 550-feet fall at Yellowstone is still under investigation.
Yellowstone National Park facts and figures: “The top causes of death in Yellowstone are car crashes, illness, drowning, and falls.”
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]