Lima man dies from head injury while hiking

By Josh Ellerbrock -

MARIPOSA COUNTY, Calif. — A Lima native died from a fatal head injury while hiking in Yosemite National Park this past Christmas.

Mariposa County Assistant Coroner Andrea Stewart said Joshua Conner, 32, suffered a fatal head injury after slipping and falling into the Merced River located in Yosemite.

Conner had been hiking on Dec. 25 in the Silver Apron area of the national park in California when the accident happened. Park rangers were on scene in less than hour, according to a statement made by National Park Service Public Affairs Officer Andrew Muñoz.

Initial reports of the incident were hampered by the federal government shutdown, Outside magazine reported.

The son of Deborah Nickles and Jeffrey Conner, both of Lima, Conner moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 2016 to work as a nurse. He received his nursing degree at Rhodes State College and is a 2005 graduate of Bath High School.

According Conner’s obituary, he enjoyed “crossfit, weightlifting, hiking, surf boarding and … the outdoors.”

Nationwide, 120 to 140 individuals die in national parks due to accidents. In 2018, at least 10 people died in Yosemite National Park, which is located in the steep slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. A popular tourist destination, the park sees roughly 4 million visitors a year.

By Josh Ellerbrock

Reach Josh Ellebrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellebrock at 567-242-0398.

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