Hiker dies on North Kaibab Trail

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. – On Friday, September 19, at approximately 4 p.m. the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a 911 call from a visitor reporting that a male hiker had fallen and was having trouble breathing.

Park rangers responded by helicopter and found the victim approximately one-half mile below Ribbon Falls on the North Kaibab Trail within Grand Canyon National Park. A park EMT, and then two medics, were inserted and assisted with CPR that was already in progress. All efforts to resuscitate the victim were unsuccessful.

Michael Sperry, 46, of Valparaiso, Indiana had been on a rim-to-rim extended day hike with his two brothers when he collapsed. Witnesses, who began CPR, reported an immediate loss of consciousness by Sperry, from which he never recovered. CPR efforts continued for over an hour before Sperry was pronounced deceased.

 Sperry’s body was flown to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park then transported to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office in Flagstaff, Arizona where an autopsy will be completed later today.

No additional information is available at this time.

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3 Comments

  • Lance September 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    How can anyone enjoy Grand Canyon when all they must do all day is watch their feet and gasp for air. Pity for the victim, perhaps persuaded by peer pressure to do it. They should’ve have holed up at Phantom Ranch and drank expensive beer for the night and done it in 2. Usually it’s the 20 yo’s that die from macho hubris.

  • 123yahoo September 24, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I did the rim to rim hike a few years back (I’m in my 40’s). Yes, it’s 23+ miles, but it was the most beautiful hikes I have ever been on. I wasn’t “watching my feet and gasping for air” as I hiked. I enjoyed the beauty all around and loved my day spent doing it. It took our group about 9 hours total. Worth every minute of it. Condolences to the family who has lost this family member. Praying for your peace and comfort at this time.

  • Herd September 24, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Waiting for all the “hearts go out” and the “died while doing what he enjoyed’ comments. Ribbon Falls? Is that about 5 miles down from the North Rim or is that about five miles north of Phantom Ranch?

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