A Las Vegas police officer fell to his death after trying to rescue a hiker that became stranded in the Mary Jane Falls area on Mount Charleston, reports KTNV.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department identified 36-year-old David Vanbuskirk as the officer killed Monday night. According to Sheriff Doug Gillespie, a call was received shortly before 9 p.m. that a hiker was stranded on a cliff in a remote location in the area. A helicopter was brought to the area to make the rescue. Vansbuskirk was lowered to the hiker where he attached the hiker to a cable to be pulled up into the helicopter. Somehow, Vansbuskirk became detached from the cable and fell into the canyon below.
Gillespie described the fall as "unsurvivable." The hiker, however, reached the helicopter and did not sustain any injuries.
Vanbuskirk had been with police department since 1999 and joined the search and rescue team in 2007. Gillespie said that the rescue was "routine" and that the officer had done "dozens" of such rescues before.
An investigation into the incident will be conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the LVMPD.
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