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Giant Boulder Kills Hiker in NH

May 11 2008 at 7:29 AM

Mark S  (Login MarkStyczynski)

Response to Second Quarter 2008 Accidents/Rescues


A 28-year-old woman was killed in a freak accident while hiking on New Hampshire's Mount Lafayette:

FRANCONIA – A hiker climbing up Mount Lafayette yesterday afternoon was killed in a freak accident, when a huge boulder crashed from its perch and struck her.

Shu Qin, 28, of Shanghai, China, was staying with friends in Wellesley, Mass., and they were hiking up the Falling Waters trail in Franconia Notch, according to Fish and Game Lt. Todd Bogardus.

Qin and her brother-in-law were more than a mile up the trail at Cloudland Falls "when a large boulder broke off a ledge" and tumbled about 40 feet before striking her, leaving her with severe head injuries.

> The location of the tragedy (Google map)

With no cell phone service in the area, a member of the party ran back to the trailhead to summon help after the accident, which happened at about 2:30 p.m.

Conservation officers and volunteers from Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue were called out at about 4 p.m. and carried her out on a litter. She was taken to Littleton Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Bogardus said snow and ice is still on the ground at that elevation, but he said last night he was at a loss to explain how it happened.

"It was an unfortunate accident," he said. "It's just tragic."

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