39-year-old Nur Aisyah Binte MD Akbar and her husband Abdul Rauf Bin Mohd Said were visiting Minnewaska State Park in New York on December 22nd when tragedy struck. As the couple walked along the Beacon Hill Trail, the duo from Singapore stopped and took pictures. Reportedly, Akbar stepped back and lost her footing. Plunging 70 ft off the cliff, she quickly hit bottom.
Said called the police, and once first responders arrived, it was ascertained that Akbar would need hoist extraction. With a team of specialized recovery men, she was removed and taken to a local hospital. It was there that she was ultimately pronounced dead. Local police are still conducting their investigation.
In a Facebook post, Said wrote, “My heart is broken into pieces, and I don’t know how to piece them back together.” In a subsequent post, he stated that she would be flown back on December 27th.
Accidents like these are increasingly common. With both tourists and locals ignoring signs telling them to stay behind a barricade, line, or simply watch their footing, many have a false sense of overconfidence. They believe because they have done it before or been in similar situations in other locations that they’ll be just fine. The fact of the matter is that nature is something to respect and to pay attention to.
When people like Akbar fall, the people responding already know what to expect. Knowing full well the terrain and setup of the area, they show up fully prepared for the worst but remain hopeful for the best. A mindset like this is necessary to last in this profession, but it allows them to help the now-grieving families make it through this emotional time.
Remember, people, being careful and watching your step is always worth the extra second!