Utah Woman Killed by Huge Column of Falling Ice After Pushing Her Friend to Safety

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
April 6, 2023US News
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Utah Woman Killed by Huge Column of Falling Ice After Pushing Her Friend to Safety
A massive column of ice that fell and trapped a 41-year-old climber trying to scale Raven Falls near Indian Canyon in Duchesne County, Utah, on April 2, 2023. (Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office)

A 41-year-old woman attempting to climb a frozen waterfall in Utah was killed by falling ice after she likely saved a fellow climber’s life by pushing her out of the way, authorities said.

The accident involved a group of three climbers trying to scale Raven Falls in Duchesne County near Indian Canyon on April 2, the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Wednesday.

The 41-year-old reportedly pushed her fellow 21-year-old climber out of the way when “huge blocks of ice” fell down toward them, police said, noting that the climber’s quick response probably saved the young woman’s life.

Although she was able to push her friend to safety, the climber that pushed the 21-year-old was struck by the falling ice and “trapped underneath two huge blocks of ice,” according to the sheriff’s office. Unfortunately, she did not survive the accident, they added.

“Our sincere condolences to all affected by this tragedy, to the family of this brave, courageous woman who lost her life while saving another,” officials said. “We hope that all may find comfort and all the warm support will prevail over your hearts while mourning the loss of your loved one.”

The third climber, a 34-year-old man, was airlifted off the mountain with “serious injuries” after falling approximately 40 feet when the ice column fractured. His condition is unknown at this time.

NTD Photo
(left) A 34-year-old injured climber was airlifted in Duchesne County, Utah, after falling approximately 40 feet on April 2, 2023; (right) Flowers are seen near the area where a 41-year-old woman died after becoming trapped under massive blocks of ice. (Courtesy of Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office)
NTD Photo
Climbers are seen scaling Raven Falls near Indian Canyon in Duchesne County, Utah. (Courtesy of Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office)

‘Prolific Climber’

After she was pushed to safety, the uninjured climber managed to safely reach Duchesne City and called for help, police said. Authorities then immediately mobilized a rescue team to search for the two other climbers.

“This [uninjured] female was able to climb down the terrain and drive to Duchesne City to contact 911 for help,” officials said.

According to a FOX13 report, the 41-year-old climber who did not survive was Meg O’Neill from Salt Lake City.

Camille Fiducia, who worked alongside O’Neill at Embark Outdoors, described her as “a very prolific climber” and “a very committed outdoors person.”

The names of the injured climbers are being withheld, at this time, “due to respect of the family members,” the sheriff’s office stated.

Duchesne County, located in the northeast part of Utah, offered gratitude for the heroic work of search and rescue officials, volunteer ice climbers, firefighters, and everyone who helped with the rescue operation, saying they “worked such long hours and gave everything they had in the recovery of this 41-year-old female climber.”

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