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KSL TV, File

Police ID hiker who died in fall near Snowbird, caution outdoors safety

By Jordan Ormond and Anne Forester | Posted - Jun. 28, 2014 at 8:12 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY — The Unified Police Department released the name of the 64-year-old hiker who whose body was found Friday at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.

William Pierce, of Chicago, was hiking in the area around Twin Peaks Wednesday evening, Unified police detective Ken Hansen said Friday. After sending the photo, investigators believe Pierce slipped and fell some 400 feet to his death.

Family members called police Friday when Pierce missed his flight back to Chicago. A search began, and his body was found that evening.

Just in the month of June, search and rescue crews have responded to three hiking falls in Utah's mountains — two were fatal, including Pierce's fall. The Unified Police Department has a word of caution for anyone enjoying the outdoors at high altitude.

"Prepare yourself not just for when you're up there, be prepared with the right equipment, hydrate before you go, hydrate when you're there," Hansen said.

His department's search and rescue crews prepare year-round to be able to rescue and recover hikers. Having a plan in case something bad happens can make all the difference, Hansen said.

"I mean, think about if you fall, get injured, get sick; how are you going to get out?" he said.

Police encourage hikers to go with someone; but if you like to hike alone, they suggest you carry a charged cell phone or satellite phone as your "hiking buddy."

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Jordan Ormond
    Anne Forester

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