Colorado woman dies at Grand Canyon after falling into whitewater rapids

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A Colorado woman, 68, died last week when she fell into whitewater rapids while on a multi-day boating trip through Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, park officials said Friday. 

Mary Kelley was near Hance Rapid on the Colorado River nine days into her trip late Thursday morning when she fell into the water. 

Members of her group pulled her out of the water and park officials flew in a helicopter but all resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. 

Colorado woman dies at Grand Canyon after falling into whitewater rapids

This 2019 photo provided by the National Park Service shows the Hance Rapid located where Red Canyon intersects with the Colorado River at River Mile 77. 
(Carl Bowman/NPS via AP)

OREGON MAN DIES AFTER FALLING 50 FEET IN GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK 

Park officials said Hance Rapid at the intersection with Red Canyon is difficult to maneuver because of debris in the water from recent flash floods.

A vertical view of the Arizona-Utah border area showing the Colorado River and Grand Canyon photographed from the Skylab 1/2 space station in Earth orbit. (Photo by: HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A vertical view of the Arizona-Utah border area showing the Colorado River and Grand Canyon photographed from the Skylab 1/2 space station in Earth orbit. (Photo by: HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
(Photo by: HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The National Park Service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner are conducting an investigation into Kelley’s death. 

Last August, an Oregon man died after falling 50 feet while hiking a trail in the park. David Colburn’s death last summer was the 18th in 2021. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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