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Two hiking fatalities in NH, both victims in their 60s

Two hikers, one aged 60, the other aged 69, died this weekend while hiking on New Hampshire trails, one on the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail in Crawford's Purchase, the other on the Ripley Falls Trail in Hart's Location.

State Fish and Game officials said a hiker who had been making a descent alone on the Ammonoosuc Trail in Crawford's Purchase collapsed and died around 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

The victim, identified as Dr. Robert Fernandez, 69, of Kennebunkport, Maine., died on the trail, Sgt. Mark Ober said. Efforts to revive Fernandez were unsuccessful.

Hikers from Alaska and Michigan had noticed that Fernandez had been hiking alone and appeared to be tired, so they made the trip down the trail with him. Fernandez collapsed about a half mile from the parking lot.

One of the hikers, Trent Sanders of Fairbanks, Alaska, performed CPR while his companion, Ryan Johnson of Holland, Mich., ran for help. Efforts by EMS crews to revive Fernandez were unsuccessful.

Earlier Saturday, a Massachusetts man died while hiking in Hart's Location.  The hiker has been identified as James Byrne from South Dennis, Mass.

Rescuers said the unresponsive 60-year-old was found about a half-mile up the Ripley Falls Trail at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Bartlett rescue workers, members of the U.S. Forest Service and volunteers carried Byrne back to the trailhead after CPR was unsuccessful.

The hiker was with friends and family when he was fatally stricken.



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