Hiker falls to death trying to help friend on California mountain

An undated file photo of Mount Baldy. JIM URQUHART, AP

WESTMINSTER, CA (CBS/AP) Authorities say a 23-year-old man fell to his death on Southern California’s Mount Baldy when he reached out his hand to save a friend who had slipped while hiking.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Corporal Robert Whiteside says the two men were on a particularly steep and narrow section of the Devil’s Backbone trail Tuesday when one of them slipped.

Whiteside says Daniel Nguyen of Westminster reached out to help his friend and then lost his footing, falling about 1,500 feet down the mountainside. It took crews three hours in icy and windy conditions to retrieve the body.

Nguyen’s aunt, Tina Thomas, tells the Orange County Register her nephew, a recent Cal State Long Beach graduate, was a selfless young man who loved being outdoors.

In 2010, CBS Los Angeles reported that a 49-year-old woman fell to her death on Mount Baldy, the highest peak in Los Angeles County.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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