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Hiker falls while climbing on Mt. Princeton in the Chalk Cliff area


On April 10, 2017 at 12:58 pm the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office received a call from hikers who stated a party fell while hiking on the south side of Mt Princeton in the Chalk Cliff area.

The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office along with Chaffee County EMS, Chaffee County Search and Rescue, North and South, and Chaffee Fire immediately responded to the area.

When sheriff personnel arrived they were met by hikers that advised that they were headed up the trail and heard a rock coming from a cliff area just to the west of them. They stated that they then looked up to the area where the rock was rolling and observed a male falling down the slope. They advised that this same male was now lying at the foot of the cliff and was being attended to by his two friends who were climbing with him.

Emergency personnel headed into the area and contacted two parties who were with an injured male, later identified as Matthew Wayne Lackey, age 31, from Boulder, Colorado. Mr Lackey was suffering from serious injuries sustained from the fall. Emergency crews immediately began administering first aid to the victim and REACH air ambulance was called to the area, however attempts to treat and revive Mr Lackey failed and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Chaffee County Coroner was called and responded to the scene and took possession of the victim.

Further investigation into the incident revealed that Mr Lackey and his companions were climbing on a rock face with no climbing equipment. The victim grabbed a large boulder dislodging that same rock causing the victim to lose his balance. His companions estimate that the victim fell approximately 40 feet to the ground below and then tumbled an additional 100 feet down a rocky slope. His companions then moved him to flatter ground and awaited arrival of emergency personnel.

For more information please contact Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze at 719-539-2596.