Forty-six year-old William Kevin Hagins of Colorado Springs, CO, died on Tuesday, March 26 while riding on horseback on the trail that ascends from the Havasupai Village to Hilltop. According to multiple witnesses, Hagins was riding in a line of horses led by a hired guide. The victim was riding second in line behind the guide with the victim’s wife and his five-year-old child riding behind him on the third horse in line.  Another man and woman were riding on horses that were fourth and fifth in line.  

The horse train that totaled eight to nine horses included several horses without riders.  They left Havasupai Village at about 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26, with the purpose of ascending the trail to Hilltop where the riders’ vehicles were parked. According to witnesses, the group rode approximately a half mile and approached a section of the trail with a significant incline that veered to the left.  As the horse the victim was riding negotiated this part of the trail, it appeared to have taken an unstable step, possibly on a rock, causing the animal and its rider to slip off the trail. The horse and rider fell a distance of approximately 12 feet into what is described as a dry creek bed.  The horse fell on top of the rider and then stood up and walked a short distance away from where the victim came to rest. 

Members of the party believed Hagins was seriously injured and the guide rode back to the village where he requested emergency assistance. Bureau of Indian Affairs Law Enforcement Officers and Medical Personnel responded to the victim’s location on ATV-type, off road vehicles. 

Upon examining the victim, medical personnel pronounced him deceased. The victim’s survivors were flown by private helicopter to Hilltop where Victim Witness grief counselors met them.

An Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue Helicopter flew the victim’s body to Hilltop to a waiting ground transport vehicle. His body was taken to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office in Flagstaff. Coconino County Sheriff’s Detectives are continuing this investigation.