Man, 56, dies after falling 500 feet from summit in Sequoia National Park after losing his balance

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Man, 56, loses his balance on a mountaintop in Sequoia National Park, plunges more than 150 feet to his death — and woman who miraculously tried to grab him survives

  • In a release, the NPS said the 56-year-old fell from the top of Mount Russell and plunged about 500 feet to his death on Monday while hiking.
  • It is unclear what caused the man to lose his balance and slide off the ridge
  • The San Jose resident was part of a walking group of three
  • A 45-year-old woman from Milpitas tried to grab him after he lost his balance
  • She also fell off the ridge, but managed to stop her fall after 30 feet
  • The third walking group member then used a satellite device distress beacon to declare an emergency before calling 911.
  • None of the people involved in the incident have been identified at this time
  • Mount Russell is on the eastern boundary of Sequoia National Park, which itself is near Visalia, California

A 56-year-old man crashed into Sequoia National Park in California on Memorial Day when he lost his balance on a summit of Mount Russell and fell 500 feet.

A 45-year-old woman who was part of his hiking group reached out to grab him and was dragged down herself, but miraculously survived after somehow falling just 10 feet — where rescuers rescued her.

The National Park Service announced the hiker’s death on Tuesday. It has not released his name or the woman’s name. DailyMail.com has contacted the park service for more information.

It is unclear what caused the man to lose his balance and slide off the ridge.

In a release, the National Park Service said a 56-year-old fell from the top of Mount Russell and plunged about 150 feet to his death on Monday (stock photo)

In a release, the National Park Service said a 56-year-old fell from the top of Mount Russell and plunged about 150 feet to his death on Monday (stock photo)

Mount Russell is on the eastern boundary of Sequoia National Park in California

Mount Russell is on the eastern boundary of Sequoia National Park in California

Mount Russell sits on the eastern boundary of Sequoia National Park, which itself is near Visalia, California.

The mountain peaks out at 14,094 feet, the seventh highest peak in all of California. It is located a mile north of Mount Whitney, which is considerably more famous and is the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States.

The San Jose resident was part of a three-person walking group in which a 45-year-old Milpitas woman tried to rescue and grab the man after he lost his balance.

She also fell off the ridge of Mount Russell, but somehow managed to stop her fall after just 30 feet.

The third walking group member then used a satellite device distress beacon to declare an emergency before calling 911.

Helicopter 551 from Yosemite National Park responded to the emergency call as a rescue team had to deal with an unrelated incident involving a hiker who was unconscious at close range.

When the rescue team arrived, they were able to retrieve the female victim from the ledge she was on.

She was taken to a hospital before being flown to a hospital in Reno, Nevada for surgery.

The San Jose resident was part of a three-person walking group in which a 45-year-old Milpitas woman tried to rescue and grab the man after he lost his balance.  She also fell off the ridge of Mount Russell, but somehow managed to stop her fall after just 30 feet (stock photo)

The San Jose resident was part of a three-person walking group in which a 45-year-old Milpitas woman tried to rescue and grab the man after he lost his balance. She also fell off the ridge of Mount Russell, but somehow managed to stop her fall after just 30 feet (stock photo)

However, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks were not able to retrieve the deceased man until Tuesday. After his body was recovered, he was transferred to a funeral home.

NPS reports that there have been eight different search and rescue missions over the three-day Memorial Day weekend.

“Over what is expected to be an exceptionally busy summer in the parks, visitors to the foreland and wilderness are urged to prepare carefully for outings, and fully understand that you may need to be self-sufficient in the event of an emergency” , the NPS said in their release.

They also suggested that people should always be willing to turn around if necessary.

‘There is never a guarantee that emergency workers can reach you quickly. Understand your own limits, take care of the people in your party and always be ready to return.”

Between 2007 and 2018, 66 people died in Sequoia National Park.  There were 19,869,972 visits to the park during that time, which equated to 33.22 deaths for every 10 million visits

Between 2007 and 2018, 66 people died in Sequoia National Park. There were 19,869,972 visits to the park during that time, which equated to 33.22 deaths for every 10 million visits

In October, the law firm Panish Shea & Boyle LLP released an analysis looking at the deadliest in national parks in the United States.

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks ranked 11th on their list, with 66 deaths recorded between 2007 and 2018.

There were 19,869,972 visits to the park during that time, which equated to 33.22 deaths for every 10 million visits.

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