Cop Rescues Hiker, Falls to Own Death

David Vanbuskirk had problem with his gear
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2013 2:33 AM CDT
Vegas Cop Dies in Helicopter Rescue
David Vanbuskirk, 36.   (AP Photo/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept.)

A Las Vegas police officer pulled off a successful rescue but lost his own life in the process. David Vanbuskirk rode a helicopter to the aid of a hiker stranded on a rock ledge; after he was lowered on a harness, he linked the hiker to rescue gear. But while the hiker was successfully pulled onto the chopper, something—it's not certain what—went wrong with Vanbuskirk's own equipment. He fatally fell into a canyon; other rescuers later retrieved his body.

"This officer dedicated his life to saving people and that act ultimately cost him his own life," says a sheriff. Vanbuskirk, 36, had served with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for 13 years and was the first to die on duty since 2009, CNN reports. (Read more David Vanbuskirk stories.)

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