A student from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill died Sunday evening in an accident while rock climbing at Moore's wall in Hanging Rock State Park, NC.
Eric Metcalf, a 19-year-old a sophomore at the UNC Chapel Hill pursuing his honors, reportedly fell to death when he was moving down the steep Moore's Wall. He was said to have accompanied by three of his friends when the incident took place, according to a report in dailytarheel.com, a website that serves UNC students and the community.
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Charlie Peek, a spokesman for the N.C. Division of Parks of Recreation, told the dailytarheel.com that Metcalf fell down from about 270 feet around 7.30 pm on Sunday. CPR was performed on him, but he could not be revived, after which he was taken to the hospital where he was declared brought dead.
Metcalf, who was an experienced rock climber, was not climbing the Moore's wall for the first time. The cause of the death is yet to be ascertained. Metcalf's parents were at a loss after hearing the news of their son's death. "He was extraordinary, he was phenomenal. He was a beautiful son," newsobserver.com quoted Metcalf's mother Kim Berthiaume as saying.
"The world will be at a loss, because I think he had so, so much more to offer," she said.
Metcalf was not only an experienced rock climber but also was a brilliant academic student at the UNC. In 2011, he was awarded academic merit scholarships worth $2,500 per year for four years along with 142 first-year students from North Carolina for their achievement in academics and involvement in diverse activities. Metcalf has also won several competitions at the university.
Rock climbing is a dangerous sport that puts once life at risk. Several Americans lose their lives every year while indulging in the sport. This is a second such incident within a week, after a 45-year-old sports writer died falling from about 200 feet at the Yosemite National Park on July 5.
The victim Michael J. Ybarra was a freelance correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and a Los Angeles Times contributor.