Fatal Fall: Victim's sister promotes safety on Camelback - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Fatal Fall: Victim's sister promotes safety on Camelback Mountain

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What started as a casual hike on that May day nearly three years ago ended in tragedy -- a young man was killed when he fell from a rock face he was climbing with a friend.

The two had no equipment and little experience.

The agony of that day was visible, even from SkyFOX as it hovered over Camelback Mountain.

Clint McHale's hiking partner was obviously distraught as Phoenix firefighters worked to save McHale.  When McHale fell from an area near the top, his friend called for help.

Caller: "Yes, I was hiking with a friend.. he just fell down the mountain.. we're on Camelback."

Operator: "How far did he fall?"

Caller: "I don't know.. like four or five stories."

McHale had fallen 50 feet.  The 25-year-old died on the way to a hospital.

"My brother's death was preventable and that's why I started this.. is to prevent other deaths from happening like his," said Chelsey McHale, who continues her push to make hiking safer on Camelback Mountain.

Her brother Clint, although an avid hiker and familiar with Camelback, went off the trail that day with his friend.

"Follow the safety of the trails and even though you are experienced and you feel you can succeed, you need to be more careful. You need to think safety first."

A sign will be placed at the Echo Canyon area of Camelback Mountain.  It has a picture of Clint with a short description of what happened that day and safety reminders and warnings for hikers.

"I hope people take the time to take a look at it and maybe reconsider their hike or what they're planning on doing out there.. just like you say.. give them a little pause," said Captain Bobby Dubnow of the Phoenix Fire Department.

Another reminder from that Captain is if you get up there and you get over your head, stay put and call for help. Don't keep going.


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