A young hiker fell 700 feet to his death after he slipped while trying to take a selfie from the top of an Arizona mountain during a camping trip with his friend.
Richard Jacobson, 21, of Mesa, Arizona, fell about 700 feet from the Flatiron Peak in the Superstition Mountain in Lost Dutchman State Park, about 40 miles east of Phoenix, where he and his friend had been camping.
The unidentified friend called police around 12.45 am on Monday when Jacobson slipped.
‘Mr. Jacobson went to go take a photograph with himself and the city skyline in the background, and he lost his footing, and he slipped, and he fell,’ Sergeant Doug Peoble with Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue told AZFamily.com.
‘I can tell you that during our investigation, there [were] no signs of foul play. No signs of drug use whatsoever. It was just a very tragic accident.’
Richard Jacobson, 21, fell to his death from a mountain peak on Monday. His friend told Dailymail.com that Jacobson ‘got along with everyone’ and ‘treated everyone with respect’
‘He was an outdoorsman, hunter, hiker. He did stuff like that, so I guess he did die doing what he loved to do, just in a tragic way,’ said a friend of Richard Jacobson, pictured
The Arizona Department of Public Safety sent out a helicopter to assist with the late-night rescue effort – but Jacobson was found dead on a trail about 700 feet from where he fell, deputies said.
A reviewer on AllTrails, a popular hiking review site, wrote that they ‘live nearby’ the Siphon Draw Trail, which can be used to access the Flatiron Peak, and that they ‘have seen many a helicopter evacuation’ there, ‘typically about [halfway’ down around the saddle.’
Jacobson of Mesa, Arizona fell about 700 feet from the Flatiron Peak in the Superstition Mountain in Lost Dutchman State Park
Jacobson, pictured, was ‘one of those guys that everyone loved,’ his friend Andrew Thomas told DailyMail.com
It’s unclear whether Jacobson and his friend took the Siphon Draw Trail, a 5.5 mile hike that takes about four hours, to their campsite. The trail’s description on the website notes that there have been several rock slides in the area, and one reviewer wrote that it’s ‘not for the faint of heart.’
Andrew Thomas, who went with Jacobsen on a four-month mission trip in Richland, Washington with the Church of the Latter Day Saints in 2020, told Dailymail.com that Jacobson ‘got along with everyone’ and ‘treated everyone with respect.’
‘He really was one of those guys that everyone loved, and it’s sad to lose him, but we know that it’s not the end,’ said Thomas. ‘We’re going to see him again.’
‘He was an outdoorsman, hunter, hiker. He did stuff like that, so I guess he did die doing what he loved to do, just in a tragic way.’
A 2018 study of news reports by the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care showed that there were 259 selfie deaths in 137 incidents reported globally between October 2011 and November 2017, with the highest occurrences in India, followed by Russia, United States, and Pakistan.
The most common ways that people die while taking selfies is by drowning, being hit by traffic or falling, according to the study.
Jacobson’s friend, Andrew Thomas (pictured) told DailyMail.com that Jacobson ‘treated everyone with respect’
An unidentified friend called police around 12.45 am on Monday when Jacobson (pictured) slipped
On July 4, 2020, Maria Salgado Lopez of Scottsdale, Arizona, fell to her death while trying to take selfies on Mather Point in Grand Canyon National Park.
In 2018, there were four recorded selfie-related deaths in the United States, including a California woman who fell to her death taking selfies on a 200-foot cliff over Lake Superior and five passengers on a doorless sightseeing helicopter that drowned after one’s safety tether got tangled in the vessel’s emergency fuel shutoff lever while trying to take a selfie.
Brandon Torres, the branch chief of Emergency Services at the Grand Canyon, urges hikers to stay focused on their surroundings.
‘There’s been a couple of accidents where people took a picture and posed like they were going to fall off, and they really fell off,’ said Torres.
‘You gotta be super focused about being next to the edge, and not just at the rim. Hiking down steep canyon trails, think about how much opportunity there is to fall off a trail.’
‘People don’t tend to fall off the trails at Grand Canyon because they’re pretty focused. They’re focused on what they’re doing.’