"This is a tragic event, and our deepest sympathy goes out to the victim’s friends and family," a park official said
An Arizona teacher described died at Bryce Canyon National Park on Friday, authorities announced.
The U.S. National Park Service said Jeanne Roblez Howell, 64, of Sedona, Arizona, was overdue from an early afternoon hike on the Fairyland Loop trail when officials at Bryce Canyon National Park were notified at 7 p.m. local time.
The Park Service added that a search was conducted in the area involving both the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah Department of Public Safety.
Howell’s body was discovered early Saturday morning in Campbell Canyon, about a mile east of the Fairyland Loop.
A Garfield County medical examiner pronounced the victim deceased at the scene, per the statement.
The park service reported heavy rain brought on by a thunderstorm to the northern end of Bryce Canyon National Park on Friday afternoon, with flash flooding observed along the Fairyland Loop trail.
Allana Olbrich, acting Bryce Canyon superintendent, said in a statement: "This is a tragic event, and our deepest sympathy goes out to the victim’s friends and family. I also want to express the park’s appreciation for the support we’ve received from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah Department of Public Safety."
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The Fairyland Loop Trail "is a quiet 8 mile hike that combines hiking along the plateau rim near Boat Mesa with a hike in the canyon with long views of the Bryce Amphitheater surrounded by unique hoodoos," per the Park Service website.
According to the Arizona Republic, which cited the educator's Facebook page, Howell was a math teacher at Verde Valley School in Sedona. Benjamin Lee, the head of school, said that the institution was mourning the loss of Howell with her family and the community, per the Verde Valley Independent.
The paper reported that Howell was described as an "experienced and enthusiastic hiker."
Howell taught for over 30 years, per the school, adding that she and her husband moved to the Village of Oak Creek from Johannesburg, South Africa.
“Jeanne initiated a number of programs at her previous school to promote community, such as inter-house competitions, student and faculty talent shows, spirit week, parties and dances,” read Verde Valley School's faculty description of Howell. “Equally committed to fitness, she has successfully led both students and faculty to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.”
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