The Los Alamos Fire Department and Los Alamos Police Department issued a joint statement today in response to media queries regarding the death of a young hiker Sunday evening in White Rock Canyon.
The hiker has been identified as Trevor Matuszak, 19, who was hiking with two friends in the area known as Hell’s Hole. Access to Hell’s Hole is at the south end of the cul de sac on Kimberly Lane in White Rock.
According to the accompanying hikers, Matuszak lost his footing in a steep portion of Hell’s Hole late Sunday afternoon and fell into the canyon. The area was too treacherous for the hikers to climb down and reach Matuszak and they phoned 911 for help. LAFD and LAPD were dispatched to the canyon at approximately 5:30 p.m. and emergency response crews trained in rock climbing under hazardous conditions were able to rappel to the scene of the accident, with assistance from LAPD.
Rescue crews reached Matuszak but determined that he had apparently died of his injuries in the fall. Crews were able to retrieve his body from the canyon just before nightfall.
The other two hikers accompanying Matuszak were safely rescued out of the canyon by LAFD and LAPD crews.
“This is a tragic, heartbreaking accident and one of the toughest calls that we respond to,” Deputy Fire Chief Steve Dawald said. “In a small community such as ours, these types of accidents impact so many residents of White Rock and Los Alamos who knew Trevor and his family. It is also especially emotional and difficult for LAFD and LAPD crews responding to the scene. We extend our deepest condolences to the Matuszak family and all of Trevor’s friends this morning.”