British boy dies after 200ft fall in the Pyrenees

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The Independent Online
A SPANISH holiday hike for a British family ended in tragedy when a 12-year-old boy fell to his death down a mountainside in the Pyrenees, followed by his father who suffered a serious back injury.

Owen George Meredith lost his footing on loose rocks and slipped more than 200 feet down the 3,408m Pico de Aneto peak in north-eastern Spain. His father, Robert Charles Meredith, 51, who watched his son fall on Wednesday evening, broke his spine in two places after attempting to reach him.

Mr Meredith lay in agony for some nine hours before rescuers found him and flew him by helicopter to hospital, and continued their search for the boy. Meanwhile, Owen's mother, Susan, was waiting in a village in the valley below for her family, from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, to return.

Last night she was being comforted by fellow tourists.

The Civil Guardsman in charge of the mountain rescue team said: "The father couldn't get down to where the boy had fallen because it was too steep. He tried to take another route, then slipped himself and fell."

Mr Meredith was comfortable in hospital last night in nearby Barbastro. The family had been enjoying a caravan tour in good weather conditions. "This route on the southern side of the mountain should only be tackled by experienced hikers," a Civil Guardsman said.