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NH man who died from rappelling fall in Utah identified

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

September 07. 2017 11:40PM
STEPHEN BAKER 



The identity of a New Hampshire man who died last weekend after falling approximately 80 feet while rappelling in a canyon in Utah has been released.

Stephen Baker, 38, an attorney who moved to the Granite State with his wife and children and recently opened a law firm in Pembroke, died Sunday morning after falling approximately 80 feet while rappelling in a canyon east of Zion National Park.

Baker, of Concord, was hiking with four siblings toward the Narrows at Zion National Park, which included a series of rappels at Englestead Hollow near the park, near Zion Ponderosa Resort, when emergency responders were dispatched to investigate a report of a fall at Englestead Hollow around 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3, according to Kane County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Alan Alldredge.

During the first rappel, which is about 300 feet in length, Baker fell from the last 80 feet of a 300-foot descent, Alldredge said in a release. Initially, it was believed Baker suffered leg, hip and back injuries. A doctor from another hiking group in the area attended to him until emergency responders could arrive.

According to the release, a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter, which happened to be in nearby Garfield County at the time, was dispatched to the scene after another medical helicopter from Classic Aviation in Kanab, Utah, was unable to land in the canyon due to the trees in the area.

According to Alldredge, the Department of Public Safety helicopter lowered a person to the ground who worked to clear trees, allowing the helicopter to land.

Emergency personnel were eventually able to reach Baker, but he died at the scene, Alldredge said in a release.

The cause of the fall remains under investigation.

Baker was born and raised in West Jordan, Utah. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sao Paulo, Brazil, pursued multiple university degrees, and put himself through law school while serving in the military.

Attorney Sarah Ambrogi, Manchester school board member from Ward 1, said Baker was a colleague of hers.

“We talked about the challenges of opening up a small law office,” said Ambrogi. “He called me for advice. I thought he showed real promise. I was shocked to hear about what happened.”

According to information provided by family members, Stephen and his wife, Tricia, were married seven years ago and moved to New Hampshire from Utah so Stephen could attend law school. The couple has two sons — Caiden, 6, and Rowan, 3.

“After a short stint at a local law firm, in 2016 Stephen took the leap and opened his own law practice, specializing in elder law/estate planning/medicaid planning,” states a GoFundMe page set up to collect donations for the family. “His reason for choosing this branch of law? To protect the elderly from financial exploitation in a way that his grandmother was not protected years ago.”

According to the site, Baker had been a solo practitioner for just over a year, and “with the expense of starting his own firm, he never ‘got around’ to purchasing life insurance.”

Two funds have been established online to collect donations to honor Stephen Baker’s memory, with all donations directly benefitting his family.

The donation pages can be found at:

www.gofundme.com/baker-family-bereavement-fund

www.youcaring.com/triciabaker-938353.

pfeely@unionleader.com


Accidents Outdoors Concord Pembroke


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