The following extracts from the letters of Billy the Kid
Grand Canyon National Park, located in Arizona, is an amazing national treasure. Most of the millions of visitors to the area leave happy and healthy, but as the park is home to natural dangers, people can and do perish while visiting. Here are some of the ways people have died at the Grand Canyon.
A high number of fatalities comes from plane crashes. The most prominent example was a mid-air collision in 1956 when two commercial airliners met with disastrous results, and 128 people lost their lives. At the time, this was the deadliest commercial aviation disaster.
You might think that falls account for a large number of deaths — you wouldn’t be incorrect, but it’s not as common as you might think. One story from 1992 tells the sad tale of a man who was pretending to fall to scare his daughter, but he unfortunately slipped and plummeted to his death.
Suicide by helicopter
In 2004, a man by the name of Richard Clam took part in a helicopter tour and sought out the passenger (shotgun) seat. On the return leg of the flight, he popped off his seatbelt, opened the door and plunged 4,000 feet to his demise.
Getting frightened to death
A 43-year-old man was hiking when he came across a rattlesnake. The snake rattled and made a partial strike, and the man, scared out of his mind, had a heart attack and died.
Driving over the edge
It’s bad enough to worry about falling, but for a man in 2009, the reality was just a bit different — authorities recovered his vehicle and his body after he drove his car over the edge.
Drowning in a river
In 2011, a man died in the Colorado River when his kayak flipped over and resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful.
Succumbing to the heat
In the summer months, the heat, paired with exertion and the dry climate, can end one’s life faster than you might expect. In August, 2011, a hiker passed away, likely from heat exhaustion, when he was unable to make it out of the canyon.
There have been over 20 homicides in the Grand Canyon since the 1870s. Robert Spangler committed one of those — he pushed his third wife, Donna Sundling, off the edge of the Grand Canyon, where she fell to her death.