On Wednesday, May 20, at approximately 9 a.m., the Kane County Sheriff’s Office received notification from the Airforce Rescue Coordination Center (ARCC), that an emergency beacon had been activated in northeastern Kane County. The GPS coordinates provided by ARCC placed the signal on a popular trail near the confluence of Coyote Gulch and the Escalante River located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The trail is used to exit the canyon at a location known as Crack in the Wall.

Because the nature of the call was unknown, and fearing it might be an emergency medical need, Kane County contacted Classic Aviation and requested their assistance. A medical helicopter based in Page, Arizona, flew to the coordinates provided to assess the situation. Upon landing, they were notified that one member of the hiking group was deceased.

The party of six individuals had been hiking and rafting in the Escalante Canyon for five days. While hiking out of the canyon to the trailhead where their vehicle was parked, a 70 year old male in the group from Cedar City, Utah, suddenly collapsed. Other members of the party began CPR, but were unsuccessful in reviving him. It was reported that he was in good health and enjoyed hiking, running and other outdoor activities.

Classic Aviation transported the individual to the Kanab Airport, where he was transferred to a Kane County Sheriff’s Office Medical Investigator. He was then transported to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office in Salt Lake City, Utah. The incident is still under investigation by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office while awaiting the findings of the Medical Examiner.

Kane County Sheriff’s Office expresses our condolences to the family. As we start into summer and temperatures begin to rise, we remind everyone to carry plenty of water and provisions. We are strong advocates of GPS alerting devices like the one mentioned in this press release. They are great tools and can greatly improve the speed and accuracy of responders if you need help.