A 65-year-old man was found dead on the Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon National Park on Thursday, November 16, 2023.
The Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center was alerted of an emergency by a personal locator beacon on the trail around 1:30pm. The beacon was coming from approximately 1.5 miles north of Havasupai Gardens. A hiker was reported to be unresponsive.
A rescuer immediately responded on foot from Havasupai Gardens. Additional National Park Service search and rescue personnel also responded via helicopter. When they arrived on scene, rangers pronounced the hiker deceased.
The victim has been identified as 65-year-old James Handschy of Oracle, Arizona. He was attempting to hike from the South Rim to the river and back.
The National Park Service is leading an investigation into the incident in coordination with the Coconino County Medical Examiner. They are working to determine the cause of death and events leading up to the hiker becoming unresponsive on the trail.
As of November 17, 2023, the investigation is still ongoing. No additional information is available at this time. The incident occurred on November 16.
This is still an developing story. The National Park Service has not released any further details about the circumstances surrounding Handschy’s death at the Grand Canyon. The public awaits more information as the investigation by park authorities continues.
Cover photo courtesy of: Robert Shea