Whittier Police identified 57-year-old Jeffrey Hummel of Anchorage as the hiker who died after falling from one of the hand tram platforms at Winner Creek Trail. 

According to a statement from Whittier Police posted by Girdwood Fire, the fire department and Whittier police were called to Winner Creek Trail around 3:40 p.m. Saturday to investigate a report that a hiker had fallen.

When the agencies arrived, rescuers were able to locate and speak with Hummel.

Investigators learned Hummel was helping other hikers using the hand tram to cross the gorge. At some point, he lost his balance and fell 50 feet off of the platform into the gorge. The release says he missed the safety netting directly below the platforms. 

Volunteers helped the rescuers and were able to bring Hummel to the top of the trail. Whittier police said that due to the severity of his fall, Hummel was pronounced dead on the scene.

The release did not say at which point Hummel died during the rescue. The State Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy to determine a cause of death. 


Correction: An earlier version of this report incorrectly attributed the press release to Girdwood Fire Department. The statement was released by Whittier Police.

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