Woman falls to her death while taking photos at Grand Canyon, National Park Service says


FILE – In this Oct. 5, 2013, file photo, the Grand Canyon National Park is covered in the morning sunlight as seen from a helicopter near Tusayan, Ariz. Edward Keable, a veteran lawyer for the U.S. Interior Department, has been appointed as the new superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park, a crown jewel of the park system. The National Park Service announced Friday, April 3, 2020, that Keable will assume his new post in northern Arizona within 60 days.(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

(CBS) — An Arizona woman fell to her death on Friday inside the Grand Canyon National Park. According to the National Park Service, the woman was taking photos with her family at Mather Point when she fell.

The body of Maria A. Salgado Lopez, 59, of Scottsdale, Arizona, was recovered by park rangers about 100 feet below the Canyon’s Rim near the South Rim’s visitor center.

“Ms. Salgado Lopez had been hiking off-trail and taking photographs with family when she accidentally stepped off the edge,” read the statement from the park. “An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the National Park Service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office. No additional information is available at this time.”

The Grand Canyon had 17 fatalities in 2018, and at least three people died in the park in 2019.

Last year, 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. About a month later, a third visitor, fell 400 feet over the South Rim.

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S., drawing nearly 6.4 million visitors in 2018. Grand Canyon West on the Hualapai reservation gets about 1 million visitors annually.

The park urges visitors to stay on its designated trails and walkways, keep a safe distance from the edge of the rim, and to stay behind railings and fences at overlooks.

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