Utah ice climber Meg O’Neill killed after saving her friend’s life : NPR
Captain John Crowley/Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office
An ice climber sacrificed her own life to save another climber in Utah on Sunday, according to local authorities.
Three climbers were attempting to climb the frozen Raven Falls near Indian Canyon when the formation broke and fell, according to a press release from the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office.
One climber, a 34-year-old man who has yet to be named by authorities, fell about 40 feet but survived, and was airlifted to a local hospital with serious injuries.
A second climber who police later identified as Margaret “Meg” O’Neill pushed a third person, her A 21 year old company, out of the falling column. The move “probably saved her life,” the sheriff’s office said. The 21-year-old was able to get off and drive to find enough cell phone reception to call 911.
Search and rescue crews were on the scene until 5 pm local time on Monday, Fox 13 News reports. They found O’Neill’s body “trapped under two large blocks of ice,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Capt. John Crowley/Duschesne County Sheriff’s Office
“Our sincere condolences to all those affected by this tragedy, to the family of this brave and courageous woman who lost her life while saving another,” added the office.
O’Neill, 43, served as Assistant Director for Embark Outdoorsa non-profit organization that facilitates outdoor sports and education for refugee women and girls.
“Most of our girls have known Meg for half their lives. She has been their mentor since 7th grade. She has been the heart and soul of this program, as you all know,” Embark wrote in a post on Instagram On Tuesday.
In the comments, others remembered O’Neill as “the epitome of a community leader – the most badass advocate” and “a champion for every woman and girl in the outdoors.”
In an interview with Fox 13, Embark Executive Director Camille Fiducia said O’Neill had an impressive climbing resume and plenty of outdoor experience, but her true passion was to be of service to others.
“If all of us could be one-eighth of what Meg’s attitude of service was, what a difference it could make,” she said.