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Mt. Baldy trails closed after second hiker dies after fall

All Mt. Baldy trails are closed until further notice after a man fell to his death while hiking on Saturday, the second death on the mountain in less than a week and an additional 12 people had to be airlifted over the weekend.

Dong Xing (Tony) Liu, 47, of Temple City, was hiking with his wife, 44-year-old Linda Duan, in the Icehouse Saddle area Saturday evening when they both slipped and fell down the mountainside, according to a release from the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office.

Rescuers received a 911 call about the fallen hikers at 5:10 p.m. and a helicopter in the area rescuing other hikers was able to locate the couple at 5:34 p.m. Rescue personnel were unable to reach the couple until 8:12 p.m.

Two good Samaritans heard the couples’ cries for help and made their way down the steep terrain, keeping Ms. Duan warm while rescuers arrived, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Mr. Liu was pronounced dead at the scene, and his wife was transported to a local hospital.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident.

The entire trail system in the Mt. Baldy area will be closed until further notice due to “unusual icy conditions,” according to Sherry Rollman of the US Forest Service.

“What’s happening is the snow is melting and it’s freezing up at night and it’s freezing up the trails,” Ms. Rollman said.

The trails closed include the Icehouse Canyon Trail, the Baldy Bowl Trail, the Mt. Baldy Trail, The Three Ts Trail, the Devil’s Backbone Trail and the Chapman Trail, according to Ms. Rollman.

The accident comes days after another hiker, 23-year-old Daniel Nguyen of Westminster, fell 1,500 feet to his death trying to save a friend while hiking the Devil’s Backbone portion of the trail.

Twelve other people had to be airlifted out of the mountains due to various injuries over the weekend, according to the Mt. Baldy Fire Department.

Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com

 

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