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Home News Stories Woman, 59, fell 100ft to her death taking Grand Canyon photo

Woman, 59, fell 100ft to her death taking Grand Canyon photo

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The Arizona woman who fell 100 feet to her death while taking photos at the Grand Canyon has been pictured for the first time. 

Maria A. Salgado Lopez, 59, of Scottsdale, Arizona, died on July 3 near the South Rim visitors center. Her body was retrieved later that day. 

Chilling footage has also surfaced of fellow hikers screaming in horror after her fall and shouting that people posing on the edge were in danger.

Witness Miriam Weiner told WVLT: ‘It was the type of scream that you hear wailing, crying, people shouting ‘no’, that sort of thing, and then, I realized I need to call 911.’

Salgado Lopez was said to have been hiking off trail and taking photos with family members when she accidentally stepped off a ledge and fell. The accident happened west of Mather Point.

A GoFundMe to cover mother of three Salgado’s funeral expenses had raised more than $18,000 as of Thursday. 

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Maria A. Salgado Lopez, 59, pictured, died while taking photos at the Grand Canyon

Maria A. Salgado Lopez, 59, pictured, died while taking photos at the Grand Canyon

Chilling footage, pictured, shows as nearby hikers scream in horror following her fall

Chilling footage, pictured, shows as nearby hikers scream in horror following her fall

The GoFundMe states: ‘Family & Friends it is with a heavy heart that I have to say that on July 3rd, 2020 our beloved Mom, Sister, Friend, Aunt has passed away due to an unforeseen accident. 

‘She is survived by her husband, 2 sons and daughter. This go fund me account has been created with the objective to assist this family with funeral costs. Anything you can contribute will be greatly appreciated. Thanks and God Bless.’

In footage taken shortly after the incident several onlookers can be heard screaming, others shout ‘no’ in the immediate aftermath. 

Eyewitness Weiner added: ‘I saw people out in that area start to hug each other, trying to comfort each other and shield them from what they were seeing.’

The Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center said in a statement: ‘An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the National Park Service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office.’ 

Salgado Lopez was said to have been hiking off trail and taking photos with family members when she accidentally stepped off a ledge and fell

A GoFundMe to cover mother of three Salgado's funeral expenses had raised more than $18,000 as of Thursday

Salgado Lopez was said to have been hiking off trail and taking photos with family members when she accidentally stepped off a ledge and fell

Maria A. Salgado Lopez died on Friday near the South Rim visitors center (stock image)

Maria A. Salgado Lopez died on Friday near the South Rim visitors center (stock image)

The death was the second at the park in recent weeks. 

On June 26, Catherine Houe, 49, of Daly City near San Francisco, died after suffering heat-related symptoms on a 114-degree day. 

The Grand Canyon had 17 fatalities in 2018, and at least four people died in the park area in 2019.

The first death last year was not the result of a fall, according to Vanessa Ceja-Cervantes, a spokeswoman for the Grand Canyon National Park. 

She said the victim was a foreign national and that the body was found on March 26 in a forested area south of the South Rim Village area of the park.  

On April 23, Cynthia Ackley, 69, of Peoria, Arizona fell near Pipe Creek Vista.

Two weeks previously, a 67-year-old man fell 400 feet over the rim east of Yavapai Geology Museum.

And in March a 50-year-old man from Hong Kong visiting the Hualapai reservation outside the park fell while trying to take pictures. 

The South Rim, where Salgado Lopez died, is a popular spot for photos, particularly at sunset (stock image)

The South Rim, where Salgado Lopez died, is a popular spot for photos, particularly at sunset (stock image)

‘On average, there about 12 fatalities in the park per year, but a small percentage of those are from fatal falls,’ said Ceja-Cervantes at the time. 

‘The causes of those deaths range from heat, to drowning, to medical issues and more. 

‘High elevation plays a role in some of the fatalities.’ 

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S., drawing nearly 6.4 million visitors in 2018. 

Grand Canyon West on the Hualapai reservation gets about 1 million visitors annually.

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