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The Grand Canyon: Scenic, Yet Deadly!

September 23, 2021

The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  It makes sense that the Grand Canyon is the setting for many people’s adventure of a lifetime.  An estimated 5.9 million people visit the Grad Canyon every year, which makes it the second most popular National Park.  The views of the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend, and Antelope Canyon have become symbols of adventure and exploration.  It’s a place where memories are made and selfies are taken.

The adventures provided by the Grand Canyon, neighboring Glen Canyon, and Colorado River are not without risks.  Experts estimate that as of 2021, over 900 visitors have tragically died in the Grand Canyon, with an average of 15-20 deaths per year.  According to the book, Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon, the deaths occurred in the following ways:

  • 393 From the Air: Including a collision between two commercial airliners (128), and two helicopters (25).
  • 198 Falls: This total includes falls from the edge (65) and falls from within the Canyon.
  • 124 Environmental Causes: These deaths include dehydration, cardiac arrest, starving, freezing, flash floods, and lighting strikes.
  • 100 Drowning: This figure includes river rafters, swimmers, and hikers crossing the Colorado River.
  • The remaining deaths were caused by falling rocks, poisonous plants, livestock accidents, murder, and rattlesnakes.

Although death and serious accidents occur, the Grand Canyon can be a relatively safe place if proper precautions are taken.  Park Rangers encourage visitors to the Grand Canyon to stay safe by keeping these few tips in mind:

  • Stay on designated trails and always keep a safe distance from the edge.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, rest frequently, and do not overexert yourself.
  • Check the weather! Monsoon season, extreme heat, and the cold can create dangerous, yet avoidable situations.
  • Pack properly. Park Rangers recommend ten essentials, including a first aid kit, adequate food and water, and sunscreen.

With millions enjoying the beauty of the Grand Canyon each year, the overall risk of serious injury or wrongful death is low, but not non-existent.  With proper care and planning most accidents at the Grand Canyon are avoidable. However, in the event that an individual suffers severe personal injuries or death during a tour, rafting trip, or other incident, the seriously injured individuals or the families of the deceased may have valid personal injury or wrongful death claims if the incident was caused by another’s negligence.

Using caution and common sense can help reduce the risk of injury at the Grand Canyon. With that said, if you or a loved one has been injured in an incident while visiting the Grand Canyon, Call Torgenson Law at (602) 726-0747. We are highly experienced in navigating the Grand Canyon and the path to personal injury recovery after a personal injury or wrongful death.

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