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21-year-old hiker falls dead hundreds of meters away while taking a selfie: ‘A very tragic accident’

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21-year-old hiker falls dead hundreds of meters away while taking a selfie: ‘A very tragic accident’

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The researchers warned that selfie-related deaths have become “a major public health concern”.

Low-rise winter clouds surround a portion of Superstition Mountain in Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction, Arizona. AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File

Richard Jacobson, a 21-year-old hiker from Arizona, was high in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix when he headed to a cliff at night to take a selfie against the flickering lights of the city.

But with his back facing the edge of the cliff, Jacobson slipped and plunged 700 feet, authorities told local media.

Around 12:45 p.m. Monday, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Jacobson’s friend who was hiking with him, Sgt. Doug Peoble told KPHO. A helicopter was used to retrieve Jacobson’s body, according to KNXV.

Peoble told KSAZ that an investigation found no signs of drug use or foul play, adding that “it was just a very tragic accident.”

The researchers warned that selfie-related deaths have become “a major public health concern”. According to a study published in October in the Journal of Travel Medicine, 379 people died taking selfies from January 2008 to July 2021. Deaths occurred after people attempted to take photos near dangerous animals, in front of stunts and brandishing dangerous weapons. .

“It is a growing problem which, due to the scale it has taken, can now be considered a public health problem,” Manuel Linares, one of the study’s lead authors, told AFP. El País, a Spanish newspaper, in October.

The average age of those who died was 24, with the largest group being under 19. The highest number of deaths, 100, occurred in India, while 39 people died in the United States and 33 in Russia.

Falls from heights were the leading cause of death, claiming 216 lives. Another 123 deaths were transport-related, according to the study. Others died by drowning or wounds caused by weapons, electricity or animals.

“What worries me the most is that this is a preventable cause of death,” Agam Bansal, who led a previous study of selfie deaths, told The Washington Post in 2018.

“If you’re just standing, just taking it with a celebrity or something, it’s not harmful,” he added. “But if that selfie is accompanied by risky behavior, that’s what makes selfies dangerous.”

Jacobson’s father wrote in a Facebook post that his son’s funeral will be held Saturday in Mesa, Arizona. “Richie will be truly missed but ALWAYS in our hearts,” he wrote.

Paul Blanco, one of Jacobson’s friends, told KNXV that he enjoys camping, biking and going fishing with Jacobson. Blanco said he hiked Flatiron, a formation in the Superstition Mountains, twice with Jacobson. He said Jacobson was an experienced hiker and “definitely knows the outdoors.”

Another friend of Jacobson’s, Andrew Thomas, told KPHO that Jacobson was kind and had a good sense of humor. He was an outdoorsman, he added.

“I guess he died doing what he loved,” Thomas said, “just in a tragic way.”



21-year-old hiker falls dead hundreds of meters away while taking a selfie: ‘A very tragic accident’

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