A Safer Year in Grand Canyon National Park

Sep 17, 2012

The number of deaths at Grand Canyon National Park are down sharply in 2012. As the summer season wraps up, 8 people have died this year, compared with 21 last year - the highest figure in a decade.

The 10-year average is 13 deaths per year. Although the park sees some suicides each year, most deaths are accidental including falls, drownings, and heatstroke.

Dr. Tom Myers worked full time at the Grand Canyon clinic for 22 years. He says 90% of the deaths result from people "who overestimate their own ability and underestimate the canyon."

One of the 8 victims this year was 16-year-old KJ Harrison from St. George, who drowned while visiting the canyon with a Scout group.

A 24-year-old tourist from France recently defied the odds by surviving a 200-foot fall from the Grandview Trail. He remains hospitalized in Flagstaff.