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Deming, Washington – Missing Hiker Found Dead, Believed to Have Fallen Off Cliff

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Posted on July 16, 2019

Deming, Washington (July 10, 2019) – A hiker who had been missing since Monday was found dead below Pan Dome Cliff near the Mt. Baker ski area. Investigators believe that the victim, Ronald Slama of Mukilteo, had fallen off the cliff. His body has since been recovered.

The victim was hiking on the Lake Ann trail head on Monday. Later that day, he called family members to report that he got lost on the trail. Slama said that he could see the ski lodge and chair lift, and that he planned to spend the night in the mountains and hike down to the lodge in the morning. By Tuesday morning, the victim’s mother called the sheriff’s office to say she had’t heard from him. A search was launched, with searchers finding Slama on Wednesday. Sheriff’s officials have said that Slama was equipped and prepared to spend the night in the wilderness.

About Falls and Related Injuries

We offer our sympathies and compassion for the friends and loved ones of the victim. Unfortunately, this is not the only fatal case of a fall. According to the World Health Organization, falling down is the 2nd leading cause for accidental or unintentional deaths. This is second only to road traffic injuries as the leading cause of unintentional injury death. While most cases of falls are non-fatal, it can still be cause for concern due to the injuries related with falls. An approximate amount of 37.3 million falls are said to require medical attention every year. Injuries may not always be serious, but have the potential to be life-threatening or disabling – examples of injures with long-term effects are broken bones (commonly fractures in the hip or wrist) or head injuries, as falls are the leading cause for traumatic brain injuries.

While falls are a matter of concern for all people, there are some factors which can make falls more risky for some. Age is one of these factors – particularly, the elderly and children are said to be at most risk in falls. Adults over the age of 65 are said to suffer the most number of fatal falls. Furthermore, adult victims may be more susceptible to future falls once they have sustained injuries from another fall. Children are at risk due to having developing bodies, and innate curiosity to explore. Factors such as environment, occupation, alcohol or substance use, and other medical conditions can also affect the risk of falls. As such, we urge everyone to do what they can to help prevent falls. Be sure to look out for hazards in the area which may lead to a fall. Keeping the body healthy is also a good way to help prevent falls, as a healthy body will have far more coordination and be ready to respond to a fall should it happen. There are many ways to ensure our safety, and preventing falls is one of them.

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