Woman Lets Hiker Pass at Grand Canyon, Falls to Death

Colleen Burns' death came hours after she posted image of herself at canyon's edge
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2016 12:33 AM CDT
Updated Jul 12, 2016 12:34 PM CDT
Woman Posts Photo at Grand Canyon Edge, Falls to Death
In this Sept. 27, 2010 file photo, O'Neill Butte as seen from South Kaibab Trail, in Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Carson Walker, File)

The last photo Colleen Burns posted to Instagram shows her sitting at the edge of the Grand Canyon. "That view tho," she captioned it. Hours later, the 35-year-old fell 400 feet to her death when she slipped off a ledge Friday morning. Park officials announced her death Monday, the AP reports. "She was, like, stepping out of the way for another gentleman to kind of squeeze in, and unfortunately Colleen just kind of got tripped up on her own feet and fell backwards, fell into the canyon," a friend who was with Burns on the sunrise hike tells WESH. "That was the longest, strangest, craziest two seconds of my life."

Burns, who was a regional marketing director for Yelp in Orlando, fell from Ooh Aah Point, about a mile down the popular South Kaibab Trail. Rangers found her body about 400 feet from where she fell, and the local medical examiner's office says she died from "multiple blunt force injuries." CNN Money reports Burns had worked for Yelp since 2009. "To say we're heartbroken is a severe understatement," a Yelp spokesperson tells the Orlando Sentinel. Burns' mother tells People the heights shown in the last photo her daughter posted scared her so much "I shut down my computer. ... And then the next day we lost her." She recalls her daughter's last words to her, said the day before she arrived at the Grand Canyon: "Mom, I'm content in my life. ... I want to travel and see the world." (Another hiker fell to his death at the Grand Canyon last year.)

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