UPDATE 1:44 p.m. (5/31/22): Roanoke County fire officials confirmed that the hiker who fell 50 feet from the McAfee Knob summit Sunday morning did not survive his injuries.

The Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department says the hiker — identified as 23-year-old Paul Classen from the Netherlands — died at the hospital on Sunday, May 29.



ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A hiker is fighting for his life at the hospital after he reportedly fell from the top of a Roanoke County mountain Sunday morning.

According to the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department, crews were dispatched around 6 a.m. on Sunday, May 29 to the McAfee Knob summit in the Masons Cove area for a report of a man in his 20s who had fallen approximately 50 feet.

The department says three all-terrain vehicles (ATV), three police officers, and about 30 fire and rescue personnel assisted with this operation.

The rescue team reached the injured hiker shortly before 7 a.m., provided aid, and started carrying him up to the top of the summit, which has an “extremely steep and rocky” terrain, fire officials say.

The first responders were later joined by a wilderness medicine doctor from Carilion and other rescuers, who reportedly helped carry the man to an ATV and then to a waiting medical helicopter, which brought him to Roanoke Memorial Hospital. After that, the rescue team was off the trail by approximately 9:30 a.m.

According to a statement released by the department on Sunday afternoon, the man’s injuries are believed to be life-threatening.