The death toll at Yosemite keeps tragically climbing this summer, and this week, it climbed a little bit higher.
On Wednesday night, 17-year-old Kao Kue of Fresno died from head injuries sustained when he slipped and fell on the popular Mist Trail at Yosemite, according to CBS. Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said Kue was hiking when he slipped and fell. Cobb declined commenting on the incident because Kue was a minor.
So far, 15 people have died from accidents in the park this year -- a record for Yosemite, as reported by the San Jose Mercury News.
On July 31, Hayley LaFlamme of San Ramon fell to her death while hiking on Half Dome, and on July 19, three hikers were killed when they were swept over Vernal Falls after crossing the safety railing to take pictures.
Due to a record winter snowfall, Yosemite's waterways are flowing at a higher level than usual this year, making for more dangerous conditions. "We're seeing an increase in visitation, and we have more people on the trail," Cobb told USA Today.
In the same article, Director of National Park Service Jon Jarvis reminded hikers to take necessary cautions. "The thing to remember is that our national parks have hazards," he said. Our job is to inform the public of what they need to do to protect themselves, not fence off those hazards."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Cobb blamed the increase in deaths on an increase in park visitors in USA Today. Cobb did state that there is an increase in visitors, but did not cite that as the cause for the increase in deaths.
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