Officials identify woman who fell to her death at Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, date not specified | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) — A 69-year-old woman was killed Tuesday in a fall at Grand Canyon National Park, the second fatality in the park this month.

At 1:05 p.m., park rangers responded to a call reporting that a person needed help at a rocky point west of Pipe Creek Vista on the South Rim of the canyon, according to the National Park Service.

Before a rescue effort could be undertaken, however, the woman fell to her death.

Using the park helicopter and a technical rescue team, responding rangers located her body approximately 200 feet below the rim. The park’s helicopter and rescue team, a total of about 15 people, were able to recover the body soon afterward.

Park officials on Wednesday identified the victim as Cynthia Ackley, who lived in the Phoenix suburb of Peoria.

On April 3, a 67-year-old man was killed when he fell 400 feet over the South Rim.

There were 17 fatalities last year in Grand Canyon National Park, according to a spokeswoman.

In late March, two people died at the Grand Canyon in separate incidents that included one man stumbling over the edge of the rim while trying to take pictures at Grand Canyon West, a popular tourist destination on the Hualapai reservation outside the boundaries of the national park.

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S., drawing nearly 6.4 million visitors last year. Grand Canyon West on the Hualapai reservation gets about 1 million visitors annually.

Park service staff encourages all visitors to have a safe visit by staying on designated trails and walkways, always keeping a safe distance from the edge of the rim and staying behind railings and fences at overlooks.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

The report was updated April 24 to add the name of the victim.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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