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Sun, Nov. 29

Texas boy, 13, killed<br>after fall on river hike

GC VILLAGE — A 13-year-old Texas boy died June 12 after falling 40 to 60 feet while hiking in Grand Canyon National Park.

Andy Drugg of Canyon Lake, Texas, was critically injured from the fall, which occurred between 8 and 8:30 a.m., while he was hiking into North Canyon. Drugg was hiking up from the Colorado River with a relative and other members of the river trip.

The river trip group had stopped at River Mile 20.5 near North Canyon Rapid. The accident occurred within one-fourth mile of the river. The boy fell at a point where the trail narrows to a ledge and skirts a boulder above a cliff.

Immediately after the fall, cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed by river guides at the scene. National Park Service rangers responded at 8:30 a.m. to a satellite phone call report of the accident. The boy was reported to have serious trauma and agonal (death pangs) breathing.

Two ranger paramedics flew to the scene, arriving 19 minutes after the first call, and provided advanced cardiac life support, however, efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

"All advanced lifesaving measures were taken but paramedics were unable to revive the boy," the reporting ranger said in a log of the incident.

Drugg was a passenger on a 14-day Moki Mac River Expeditions Inc., river trip that launched from Lee’s Ferry on June 11.

One of the paramedics at the scene, who is also a counselor, talked with members of the river trip about the incident.

According to the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association, North Canyon is one of the spots where serious falls have occurred in the past when river runners stop to go on hikes. Other dangerous areas include Elves Chasm, Stone Creek, Deer Creek and Olo Canyon.

The accident was the sixth commercial river trip fatality in the last three years and nine months. It was the second falling fatality in the park this year.

And it was the first death of a child (under age 18) at Grand Canyon since August 1998 when a 16-year-old boy disappeared while on a river trip with his family.

Grand Canyon National Park and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office cooperated on an investigation of the accident.

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