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Tourist Dies From Fall At Yellowstone

A Michigan woman who stepped over a retaining wall to take a photograph lost her footing and fell 500 feet to her death, park officials said.

The woman was identified in Sunday editions of The Grand Rapids Press as Deb Chamberlin, 52, of Rockford, vice president of the school board in the west Michigan community.

"It's hard for me to articulate right now because I'm still in shock," said Rockford Superintendent Mike Shibler, who spoke with Chamberlin's husband Gary about the accident. "She was a very committed person, she gave a lot of her time well above the responsibility of being a board trustee."

The Chamberlins and their two children had stopped their vehicle at an overlook along the road about three-quarters of a mile north of the Tower Fall area about noon EDT Saturday.

Chamberlin stepped over a low rock retaining wall to take a photo when she lost her footing, slipped down an embankment and went over a cliff. She fell about 500 feet, coming to rest near the Yellowstone River, park officials said.

Gary Chamberlin flagged down a passing motorist, who called 911. High, fast-moving water prevented rescuers from reaching Deb Chamberlin by raft. A ranger rappelled down the canyon wall to reach the woman, who died at the scene.

Her body was placed in a litter suspended by a cable from a helicopter and flown out Saturday afternoon.

It was the second fatal accident in Yellowstone this year. A woman died in a February snowmobile accident east of Norris Geyser Basin.