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Angeles Forest hiker falls to death

August 6, 2011 |  3:35 pm

A hiker fell to his death from a cliff near a waterfall in Eaton Canyon in the Angeles National Forest early Saturday, the second fatality in the area this week.

A female companion tried to help the man but got stuck. She was airlifted to a landing zone and taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital for minor injuries, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Debra Herman.

A search and rescue team was dispatched to the area around 9:30 a.m. At least two hikers who witnessed the man’s fall tried to administer first aid and perform CPR before the rescue teams arrived, Herman said. The man was pronounced dead at 10 a.m.

There have been more incidents than usual in this area in the last week -- seven in seven days, Herman said. On July 31, a 28-year-old man fell from a trail near one of the park’s waterfalls. He died from injuries several days ago.

Most of the rescues have involved visitors who are lost or hikers who have fallen, Herman said. The area has experienced an influx in visitors because it is a particularly beautiful time of year.

“Unfortunately, we work in a place where people go to enjoy the terrain, it is the mountains, it’s not too far away. It’s beautiful because of all the rain we had ... and we haven’t had the blasting heat,” she said. “You’re not invincible when it comes to Mother Nature.”

Herman said she isn’t aware of any signs posted to warn visitors of the dangers in the area near the waterfall.


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-- Samantha Schaefer