YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (AP) — A man died after falling into Merced River at Yosemite National Park on Christmas Day, the National Park Service said Friday.
The man apparently slipped down Silver Apron, a large, sloping granite area above Nevada Fall, and suffered a head injury, government spokesman Andrew Munoz said in a statement. The ongoing investigation is taking longer than usual because of the partial government shutdown, he said.
Munoz said rangers responding to a 911 call arrived on scene in less than an hour and pulled the man, who has not been identified, from the water.
“Medical attention was provided to the visitor, but he died from his injuries,” Munoz said.
The man’s death was first reported by Outside Magazine, which noted that at least 10 people died in the park last year, including another man who slipped and fell to his death near Nevada Fall.
No further details on the Dec. 25 fatality were released.
Munoz said the park didn’t issue a press release about the death because of the shutdown, which began two weeks ago and forced furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal government employees.
Yosemite remains open to visitors during the shutdown, and crowds of visitors have been driving into the park to take advantage of free admission. This week, the park announced new access limitations and several closed areas within the park because of problems with human waste, damage to resources and other public safety concerns during the shutdown.
Under the park service’s shutdown plan, law enforcement staff remains on duty.
Munoz said the visitor was not in a closed area when he fell.