Second hiker death prompts closure of LA County mountain

Second hiker dies on Mount Baldy in Los Angeles
For the second time in under a week, a hiker has died on Mount Baldy, prompting closures. Photo: Doc Searls/Flickr

The hiking trails at Mount San Antonio (popularly known as Mount Baldy) in Los Angeles County were closed down on Monday after the death of a second hiker in less than a week.

Dong Xing Liu, a 47-year-old resident of Temple City, California, died on the trails Saturday after he and his wife both slipped and fell 120 feet down the mountainside, according to coroners.

Rescue officials responded to the area at about 5:30 p.m. and spotted the couple shortly thereafter, but medics weren’t able to reach Liu and his wife until roughly 8:15 p.m. Liu’s wife suffered a broken arm and was hospitalized after the fall.

Liu’s death came on the heels of a fatal hiking accident on Tuesday when 23-year-old Daniel Nguyen slipped and fell 1,500 feet to his death while attempting to rescue a friend who had also slipped off the trail.

According to officials, the trails were closed down after over two dozen hikers had to be airlifted away from the mountain since Friday.

“At one point we had four different helicopters going up here on Saturday,” Mt. Baldy Fire Department Captain Gordon Green told the San Bernardino Sun. “One came back at least twice.”

Green said that many of the hikers rescued were experienced hikers, and that the main reason for the alarming amount of rescues was extreme weather conditions.

RELATED: Hiker falls 1,500 feet to his death while trying to rescue friend

“We've had two significant storms recently and the one last Sunday was rain," said Green. “Then it froze over and made it smooth, glazed ice. I heard people say that when the sun started to shine it looked like a mirror.”

At 10,068 feet, Mount Baldy is the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains and the tallest point in all of Los Angeles County.

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