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Update August 7th, 2018

The autopsy for Mr. James Rothwell who fell while climbing Buck Mountain in Chelan County was completed today.  He died as a result of Blunt Force Trauma to the Head and Trunk. Manner of death has been ruled an accident.

He was wearing a helmet but the force to his head from the fall was too much for the helmet to absorb the energy and he had severe trauma to his brain.

Update August 6th, 2018 2020 hours

The two remaining hikers have made their way out of the mountains. After speaking with them it was determined they were traversing a steep face when the victim lost his footing. He fell approximately 50 feet. They hiked down to him and rendered aid. He survived for a short period of time before he succumbed to his injuries. The victim has now been identified as a 44 year old male from the Seattle area. Initially it was believed he was from New York but he has lived in the Seattle area for several years. His identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Original Story

Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on August 4th, 2018 at 2:34 PM CCSO was advised of an emergency beacon activation in the area of Buck Mountain, a remote area approximately 17 miles north of Lake Wenatchee. After obtaining the coordinates from AFRCC (Armed Forces Rescue Coordination Center) it was determined the beacon was staying in one location. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office AIR10 helicopter was deployed and located a group of three near the coordinates at approximately 6:45 PM. They were at about 6750 feet in elevation. One of the three subjects was laying down and wrapped in an emergency blanket. There was no suitable landing zone nearby so a request was made through state emergency management for a hoist capable helicopter.

King County Sheriff’s Office accepted the misson. They arrived on scene at approximately 10:00 PM but had to abort the mission due to weather. A call was plced back into state emergency management requesting a helicopter from NAS Whidbey Island. The Navy crew accepted the mission and arrived in the area at approximately 12:40 AM on August 5th. They were able to hoist the patient, a 44 year old male out of New York on board the helicopter. He was deceased due to unknown injuries. Due to low fuel in the helicopter he was transported to Boeing Field in Seattle.

The remaining two hikers were uninjured and remained on scene to hike out in day light. At this time it is unknown how the injuries were caused.

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