California Man Dies in Fall From South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park; Women Struck by Lightning

A California man apparently trying to leap from one outcrop to another on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park fell roughly 500 feet to his death, according to park officials.

Andrew N. Stires, 42, of Burbank, fell around 1 p.m. Friday from a point between Pipe Creek Vista and the Visitor Center on the South Rim. Park officials said "an eyewitness report indicated the man was trying to jump from one outcropping to another, just off the rim trail, when he fell..."

Park rangers responded after receiving a call from the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center, and with the help from a National Park Service helicopter crew returning from a flight below the rim, found the man's body about 500 feet below the rim.

Because of high winds and lightning activity Friday afternoon, park rangers were not able to recover his body until Saturday.

Also on Friday, at approximately 2:45 p.m., two women were struck by lightning on the South Rim. The two women, both from Seoul, Korea, were standing on the rim east of the Visitor Center when they were struck. Park rangers believe both women were hit by a secondary strike.

One woman, 45-years of age, was taken by Guardian Air to the Flagstaff Medical Center where she was treated and released, according to a spokesperson from the Flagstaff Medical Center. The other woman, also 45-years of age, was taken to the Northland Community Health Center in Grand Canyon National Park, where she too was treated and released.

Park officials stress that when you're visiting, whether in the backcountry or walking along the rim, always be aware of your surroundings and current weather conditions. Keep a safe distance from the edge and to pay close attention to your footing and the condition of the ground surface.