Soldier dies after fall during hike in State Park

An 8th Military Police Brigade Soldier attached to the 11th Airborne Division out of Alaska, Spc. Kyle Lee Gustafson, 34, of Fridley, Minnesota, died from injuries he sustained in a fall while hiking Saturday, Sept. 2, along Turnagain Arm south of Anchorage.

Anchorage Daily News, Alaska

A Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson soldier died Saturday after he fell while hiking near Rainbow Peak in Chugach State Park, authorities said.

Spc. Kyle Lee Gustafson, 34, of Minnesota fell on “a sheer rock hillside on a trail near Rainbow Peak” around 1 p.m., according to Austin McDaniel, a spokesman for the Alaska State Troopers. Rainbow Peak is accessed from a Seward Highway trailhead by a roughly 5-mile round-trip hike that gains nearly 3,400 feet.

The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center responded to the call for help, McDaniel said. Gustafson was airlifted to Providence Alaska Medical Center, where he died Saturday, according to a statement from JBER.

Gustafson joined the Army in December 2020 and arrived in Alaska in May, according to the statement. He previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Gustafson was an explosive ordnance disposal specialist with the 716th Ordnance Company, the statement said.


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