Hiker, 21, dies taking a photo on Arizona mountain

Richard Jacobson’s body was recovered about 700ft below where he fell

Shweta Sharma
Thursday 27 January 2022 06:59

A 21-year-old hiker who tried to take a photo on an Arizona mountaintop fell to his death earlier this week, authorities have said.

Richard Jacobson was camping with a friend on top of the Flatiron Trail summit at the Los Dutchman State Park. He slipped and fell approximately 700ft and died on Monday, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said.

The police received an emergency call around 12.45am on Monday from his friend, who has not been identified.

Jacobson went “to the edge to take a photo” and lost his footing when he slipped, the sheriff said.

His body was retrieved from the Flatiron peak in the Superstition Mountains in the east of the Phoenix metropolitan area, with the help of a helicopter from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

“He slipped and fell,” Sergeant Doug Peoble told Fox10. “I can tell you that during our investigation, there [were] no signs of foul play. No signs of drug use whatsoever. It was just a very tragic accident.”

He added that Jacobson’s friend was “very distraught” to be left there to hike back and, so, was also airlifted from the site. “He was torn up pretty bad emotionally. We were able to get a helicopter to him,” said Sgt Peoble.

According to the hiking website AllTrails, the 5.5-mile-long Siphon Draw Trail is one of the popular ways to reach Flatiron peak. The hike takes an average of 4 hours to complete.

Reviewers on the website called it a tough and challenging hike, while warning of avoiding “fatigue related slips and falls”.

“[I] live nearby and have seen many a helicopter evacuation, typically about 1/2 way down around the saddle,” Bill Howard, a reviewer said.

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