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Hiker falls 300 feet to his death off the summit of New Hampshire’s Mt. Willard

By Michelle Watson, CNN

A man hiking near the summit of Mt. Willard in New Hampshire fell 300 feet to his death, authorities said.

The man was hiking with his wife Saturday morning when he fell and yelled out for help, New Hampshire Fish and Game said in a news release.

“The hiker’s wife heard her husband yell and looked over to notice him falling over the edge of the mountain down a steep cliff that extended to the bottom approximately 800 feet,” the release said. “Due to the icy conditions and steepness of the terrain, the hiker’s wife called 911 for assistance.”

When Mountain Rescue Service technicians and conservation officers came to rescue the man, they found him dead, about 300 feet below the summit, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

“Technicians were able to rappel down the cliff and eventually located the hiker at approximately 2:30 p.m.,” the release said.

Authorities did not release the hiker’s name, but CNN spoke to his employer Monday morning.

The man was Joe “Eggy” Eggleston, an avid steam engineer who worked for the Mount Washington Cog Railway for about 30 years, according to marketing director, Rob Arey.

Arey said Eggleston lost his hearing due to meningitis when he was a kid, but he was very good at reading lips and loved taking pictures while hiking.

“He absolutely loved hiking, so he died doing what he loved,” Arey told CNN in a phone call.

In a Monday tribute on Facebook, the Mount Washington Cog Railway said it was “still processing the terrible news” of Eggleston’s death.

“Eggy, living gracefully with profound hearing loss since childhood, once said to us ‘where else could a deaf man fulfill his dream of running a steam locomotive?’ His passion for The Cog was evident to anyone who ever shared a moment, or a shift, with him.”

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