Grand Canyon Death: Texas Man Falls Off South Rim

Image: Grand Canyon Death: Texas Man Falls Off South Rim A rescue helicopter hovers over the south rim of the Grand Canyon while searching for 53-year-old John N. Anderson, of Grapevine, TX.

Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 12:19 PM

By Jonna Lorenz

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A Grapevine, Texas, man fell to his death off the rim of the Grand Canyon on Saturday.

John N. Anderson, 53, fell about 350 feet near the El Tovar Lodge on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, according to The Associated Press.

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Authorities said Anderson was visiting the park with his family.

Park rangers located the fallen man and began CPR, but were unable to save him, according to CBS DFW.

The death is under investigation by the National Park Service and the Coconino County medical examiner.

“We don’t have a final autopsy, but the manner of death is an accident,” said Trish Lees of the medical examiner’s office, according to the Star-Telegram.

The newspaper said Anderson was alone when he fell. His sister-in-law called the incident “a freakish accident.”

NBC 5 reported Anderson was a State Farm insurance agent in Bedford, Texas. According to a profile on the State Farm website, Anderson received a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from Purdue University and was a State Farm agent since 1985.

The Star-Telegram reported that emergency crews answer about 1,300 medical calls at the park each year, primarily for heat stroke, hypothermia, drowning and falls. There were 12 fatalities at the park in 2012, the newspaper reported.

In 2007, a 4-year-old girl died after falling from the south rim of the Grand Canyon. She was the second person to die that year after falling from the canyon rim. At that time, a Grand Canyon National Park Safety Manager said that, on average, one to three people die each year falling from the canyon rim.

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