Woman falls 200 feet below Grand Canyon's South Rim, body recovered

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- A woman died after an accidental fall in Grand Canyon National Park Tuesday, marking the fifth death in the park this year.

At 1:05 p.m., park rangers responded to a call about a person needing help at a rocky point west of Pipe Creek Vista. Before rangers could make it to the area, the woman fell.

Officials said responding rangers, using the park helicopter and a technical rescue team, located the woman's body bout 200 feet below the rim.

"The park's helicopter and rescue team, a total of about 15 people, were able to recover the body later this afternoon," officials said Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Grand Canyon National Park officials identified the victim as 69-year-old Cynthia Ackley of Peoria. Ackley's fall is the second accidental death in the park this year, according to park spokesman John Quinley.

Around 11:30 a.m. on April 3, a 67-year-old man from Santa Rosa, California, fell about 400 feet near the Yavapai Geology Museum, which is also on the South Rim in Grand Canyon Village. A helicopter and technical rescue team recovered the man's body.

In March, a tourist in his 50s fell over a ledge at Grand Canyon West after he slipped while trying to take photographs. Grand Canyon West is located on the Hualapai Tribe's reservation and is not inside the Grand Canyon National Park.

Quinley said there have been five deaths this year in the park: the two accidental falls, two medically-related deaths and one that is still currently under investigation.

"Park staff encourages all visitors to have a safe visit by staying on designated trails and walkways, always keeping a safe distance from the edge of the rim and staying behind railings and fences at overlooks," stated park officials.

On average about 17 people die each year, including in 2018, Quinley said.