Wyoming woman dies after fall in Canyonlands N.P.
by Lisa J. Church
staff writer
Jan 17, 2013 | 2043 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Wyoming woman died last weekend after she was injured in a fall at the Needles section of Canyonlands National Park. Janet Wells sustained severe head injuries after apparently slipping on ice and falling approximately 20 feet while hiking on the Big Canyon Springs Trail on Jan. 10, according to Paul Henderson, assistant superintendent of Arches and Canyonlands national parks. Wells was transported by medical helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo., where she died on Jan. 12.

Wells was found unconscious at the base of a cliff at approximately 1:20 p.m. by another visitor to the park, according to an incident report. That person ran back to the park’s visitor center for help and NPS workers launched a search-and-rescue effort, according to the report. San Juan County Emergency Medical Services and the San Juan Sheriff’s Officer also assisted in the effort.

Information about Wells’ age was unavailable at press time.

According to the report, Wells was apparently hiking alone when she attempted to descend a snow-covered sandstone ledge and lost her footing. Henderson said the accident was most likely the result of ice on the trails and rocks.

“I think it is very clear that it had to do with ice on the trail,” he said.

He noted that the parks post signs warning visitors to be careful when trails are icy and dangerous and that information is also available on the park websites.

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