Hiker dies after 50-foot fall off McAfee’s Knob

Roanoke County Fire & Rescue
Roanoke County Fire & Rescue(Roanoke County Fire & Rescue)
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 1:46 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - UPDATE: The President & CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Sandra Marra, released the following statement:

“On Sunday, May 29, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy was made aware of a tragic incident in the area of McAfee Knob in Virginia. Appalachian Trail (A.T.) hiker Paul ‘Grandmaster’ Classen sustained serious injuries after falling 50 feet. Rescue teams quickly located Paul, who was then taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital. It was announced today that Paul died from his injuries.

All of us at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy express our deepest condolences to Paul’s family and friends. We have witnessed an outpouring of sympathies and support from the greater A.T. hiking community, a reminder of the close connections the Trail creates even between those who have not met directly. We hope that such sympathies offer a degree of comfort to all those grieving his loss. We also express our sincere thanks to the rescue teams who assisted in the rescue operation.”

EARLIER STORY: A hiker died Sunday after a 50-foot fall off the McAfee’s Knob summit, according to Roanoke County Fire & Rescue.

The man was identified as 23-year-old Paul Classen, of the Netherlands.

Crews say they responded around 6:00 a.m. Sunday to the McAfee Knob summit for a report of someone who fell off the mountain. Three all-terrain vehicles and around 30 fire and rescue personnel were joined by three police officers to conduct the rescue operation.

Crews say Classen died at a hospital from his injuries.

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