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Accident on Mt. Shasta leads to hiker's death

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald

A San Diego man died last weekend while hiking on Mt. Shasta, and his girlfriend was airlifted to safety by the California Army National Guard's Sparton 409 crew, according to Siskiyou County Undersheriff Karl Houtman.

A bicyclist with Mt. Shasta as the backdrop.

Hiker Chelsey Klein called 911 just before 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26 to report that her boyfriend, 35-year-old Jeffrey Sutton had fallen down an embankment and was injured on the north face of the mountain at about 11,000 feet in elevation.

Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue coordinator Deputy Mike Burns immediately began organizing a rescue effort including a Blackhawk helicopter from the California Army National Guard, Houtman said.

At approximately 11 p.m. Klein, also of San Diego, was airlifted off the mountain and to a local hospital for treatment.

Rescue crews were unable to locate Sutton and transported two U.S. Forest Service climbing rangers into the area to search. Additional ground rescuers from the USFS, Siskiyou County Search and Rescue and Jackson County Search and Rescue also hiked into the area.

At approximately 8 a.m. the next morning, Sept. 28, Sutton was found deceased.

“On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, we extend our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Sutton," said Houtman. "We would like to especially thank Sparton 409 crew members CW4 Brockly, CW3 Digre, Crew Chief Sgt. Villarreal and Para Jumpers Woodward and Hofius for the safe rescue of Ms. Klein."

Houtman also thanked the Jackson County and Siskiyou County Search and Rescue members, USFS Climbing Rangers Moore and Sorenson for locating Sutton, and the crew of CHP H-14 for Sutton's recovery.