North Bay News

San Rafael hiker found dead died from fall

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A San Rafael man whose body was found Wednesday on Mt. Langley in the Inyo National Forest died in a fall, an Inyo County coroner's deputy said Tuesday.

Thomas Heng, 31, died of "multiple traumatic fractures and hemorrhages due to a mountain hiking accident," Inyo County deputy coroner's investigator Jeff Mullenhour said.

Heng's body was found about 11,000 feet up on the 14,023-foot mountain, Mullenhour said.

"We have no way of knowing where he was before he was found," Mullenhour said. "We don't know how far he fell."

There was a ridge and ice in a crevasse above Heng's body, Mullenhour said.

"Whether he used it to come down, we don't know," Mullenhour said.

Heng was with two other hikers from the Bay Area Anything Active hiking club, but members of the group had separated, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks spokeswoman Dana Dierkes said.

Heng signed the visitor's book at the summit of the mountain, and was last seen at about 13,000 feet around 1 p.m. on July 22.

Mullenhour said the autopsy on Monday didn't indicate Heng suffered a medical emergency.

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