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Hiker Dies After Falling 700 Feet While Trying to Take Selfie

A hiker in Arizona fell to his death this week after trying to take a selfie near the edge of a cliff.

The accident happened on Monday in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix, Arizona. 21-year-old Richard Jacobson was camping with a friend at the Flatiron Trail summit in Los Dutchman State Park, when around midnight, he approached the edge of the cliff in an attempt to take a selfie with the lights of Phoenix in the background. Tragically, Jacobson lost his balance and fell over the edge to his death. His friend called 911 at approximately 12:45 am, and Jacobson's body was found and recovered later that day.

A study in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care found that between 2011 and 2017, at least 259 people died in the process of taking selfies. Of those 259, most were between the ages of 20 and 29 and male. The most deaths occurred in India and Russia, while the three most common causes were drowning, being struck by a vehicle, and falling from heights. The study found that the risk significantly decreased beyond age 30. Sadly, the true number is likely higher than 259, as many such deaths go unreported. 

Lead image by Doug Dolde, public domain.