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Man dies following fall at state park

DES MOINES – Danny Dean Carlile, 63, of Ames died Sunday, Jan. 1 after a fall at Ledges State Park, south of Boone.

According to DNR officials, Carlile fell approximately 60 feet from an overlook off the Lost Lake Trail at approximately 11:15 a.m. He was air-lifted out of the park to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines and was pronounced dead.

The Lost Lake Trail, an approximately 1.5-mile handicapped-accessible trail, is located in the upper part of the park. The overlook, known as Solstice Rock, is about 50 yards off the trail and approximately 60 feet above the Des Moines River.

Carlile was participating in a First Day Hike, an annual event held in state parks across the nation on January 1. Approximately 100 people attended the hike at Ledges State Park.

According to Park Ranger Klint Peterson, Carlile left the trail to take photos at Solstice Rock, lost his footing and fell to the riverbank below.

Park staff and other hikers attended to Carlile immediately until emergency crews arrived.

Emergency rescue was provided by the Boone County Sheriff and Hospital, Boone Fire Department and Des Moines Mercy Life Flight.

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