Blackhawk resident John Russell Presley, 63, died after a 70-foot fall Thursday in the Grand Canyon National Park. He was a retired vice president with Bank of America.
The park's communications center received a call for assistance from a commercial river trip operator at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 28, saying a man had fallen about 70 feet and was seriously injured, according to the Grand Canyon News service.
The victim was reported to be about one-and-a-half miles up Stone Creek from its confluence with the Colorado River. The National Park Service helicopter, with a Coconino County Sheriff's Office search-and-rescue team member and a flight medic, was able to land at the site and drop off the medic.
At the same time, a Department of Public Safety helicopter was put on alert to perform a night flight and rescue if necessary. However, upon arrival at the scene, the medic sent word that the patient had not survived the fall.
Mr. Presley was born Jun 21, 1945, in San Diego. He received his bachelor's degree from Cal State Fullerton. He served with the Marine Corps in the Vietnam War and later was an active board member for 10 years in Swords to Plowshares, which works to rehabilitate veterans. He had a 28-year career at Bank of America.
He is survived by his wife Patti Hughes; two sons, Tim and Sean; his mother Doris; and sister Ann Viozzi. A funeral Mass was scheduled to be celebrated at 1 p.m., Friday, Sept. 5, at St. Isidore's Church, 440 La Gonda Way in Danville. Donations may be made to Swords to Plowshares, 1060 Howard St., San Francisco 94103.