18-year-old talking to her mother on phone falls 30 feet off cliff while hiking in Alaska

Cherelle “Evie” LaGrou fell off a cliff near Denali National Park while speaking with her mother, Shelly LaGrou.
By Evan Bleier   |   June 11, 2014 at 9:50 AM   |   Comments

FAIRBANKS, Alaska, June 11 (UPI) -- A Washington mother was speaking to her 18-year-old daughter on the phone when the teenager plummeted 30 feet off a cliff while hiking in Alaska near Denali National Park.

Daughter Cherelle LaGrou, who is working at a lodge in Alaska this summer, had called her mother Shelly because she was nervous about the slippery and unfamiliar terrain.

"This was the first time she went hiking alone," Shelly told the Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle. "She hikes several times a week with friends, but they were all at work. She wanted to go see some waterfalls."

After hearing Cherelle scream and fall, Shelly didn't hear anything but silence for a while. Eventually, Cherelle came back on the line but reported she couldn't move. "She said she did not want to die," Shelly said.

The Alaska State Troopers were notified of the situation and arrived on the scene after about 15 minutes. The cellphone battery eventually died, so Shelly didn't know what had happened until she received a phone call about 45 minutes later after troopers had rescued her daughter.

"You don't know if you're talking to your child for the last time," Shelly said. "It was a miracle."

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