56-year-old San Jose man dies after falling 500 feet in Sequoia National Park

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TULARE COUNTY, California (KSEE/KGPE) — A 56-year-old man from San Jose died after falling approximately 500 feet on Memorial Day in Sequoia National Park.

The National Park Service said a three-person hiking group was on the summit ridge of Mount Russell, on the eastern boundary of the park when a 56-year-old man lost his balance and fell. 

A 45-year-old woman from Milpitas grabbed him as he lost his balance, and also fell. She went down about 30 feet before she was able to to prevent herself from sliding further.  

The third person in the group turned on a satellite emergency locator beacon and called 911 from his cell phone. 

The NPS said a Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ Helicopter and other rescuers were in the process of rescuing an unconscious hiker from the Big Five Lakes area, so the search and rescue team and helicopter from Yosemite National Park went to the Mount Russell emergency.

The Yosemite technical short-haul team rescued the injured woman from the ledge and took her to the Northern Inyo Hospital in Bishop.

The Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks team said they recovered the body of the fallen man. His remains were transferred to a funeral home.

The park service said they responded to eight separate search and rescue incidents over the three-day holiday weekend.

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