The National Parks Service is investigating the death of an 18-year-old woman who plunged 400 feet to her death on her first day on the job at Yellowstone National Park.
Authorities say Maria Rumyantseva of Russia went hiking with three friends along the edge of what’s called the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
The group ventured off the trail. Rumyantseva was sitting on a ledge when the rock fell away. A friend was standing right behind her, but somehow didn’t fall into the canyon.
One of her friends called 911 from a cell phone. A rescue team later reported seeing a badly mangled body about 400 feet below the rim of the 1,500-foot deep canyon.
The rescuers concluded the woman could not have survived the fall. The next day they recovered her body in a three-hour operation using a helicopter.
Rumyantseva had reported for her first day on the job with a private concessions company in Yellowstone.
Fatal falls at Yellowstone are rare. There have been fewer than a dozen among millions of visitors in the last 30 years.