Manner of death released in Hannah Taylor accident

Longtime Summit County local Hannah Taylor died due to an accident while mountain running in the Gore Range on July 21. The Summit Nordic Ski Coach and Summit Huts Association managing director is pictured here completing the final few steps of her first-place performance at the first-annual High Lonesome 100 Miler ultra-endurance race in Salida on July 28, 2017.
Mile 90 Photography / Special to the Daily

Family and friends of Hannah Taylor called on the Summit County Coroner to release a first-hand account of how the longtime Summit County local died on July 21.

Summit Nordic Ski Club head coach Olof Hedberg, who was running with his fellow SNSC coach Taylor at the time of the incident, wrote the details of the account released by Summit County Coroner Regan Wood on Thursday.

In the coroner’s office’s press release, it reads that Taylor and Hedberg were doing a training run together which involved a planned route across an off-trail ridge in the Gore Range northwest of Silverthorne. During a short section of Class 3 terrain, Taylor held onto a part of the ridge while assessing the best way forward. As she stood on the ridge, a large section of rock, including the piece in her hand, broke loose, causing her to stumble. The falling rock then hit the back of her head, directly resulting in her death. Her body fell 66 feet down a gully and then over a 200-foot cliff. After calling 911, Hedberg climbed down and confirmed she did not survive being struck by the rock and the ensuing fall. He then waited for a helicopter body recovery and self-evacuated by foot.

Hedberg, the rest of the Sumit Nordic Ski Club and hundreds more members of the Summit County community celebrated Taylor’s life at a memorial service in Frisco last Thursday.

Taylor, a native of New Hampshire, was a steering influence as a lead coach for the ski club for the past 14 years. She also worked for the Summit Huts Association for more than a decade and was an accomplished endurance athlete and backcountry skier.

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