Las Vegas officer plunges to his death while rescuing hiker - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Las Vegas officer plunges to his death while rescuing hiker

Posted:
(Las Vegas Metro Police Dept) (Las Vegas Metro Police Dept)
Highlights
  • Officer David Vanbuskirk was in the process of hoisting a hiker using a helicopter
  • He got detached from the hoist and fell into the canyon
  • Vanbuskirk, 36, was a veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

By Faith Karimi

When a call came in about a stranded hiker, Las Vegas Police Officer David Vanbuskirk hopped onto a helicopter with a rescue crew, and rushed to retrieve the man from a rock ledge.

At Mount Charleston, a helicopter harness attached to Vanbuskirk lowered him toward the hiker -- dangerous terrain made foot rescue impossible. He retrieved the hiker and attached him to the rescue equipment, and signaled the aircraft to lift them up.

As the helicopter did, Vanbuskirk got detached from the device and plunged into the canyon below Monday night, dying on impact, authorities said. The hiker, who was in the Mary Jane Falls area, was hoisted to safety.

Additional rescue crews scoured the canyon and found Vanbuskirk's body, officials said. It was unclear what caused the device to detach.

"This officer dedicated his life to saving people and that act ultimately cost him his own life," Sheriff Doug Gillespie told CNN affiliate KVVU.

Vanbuskirk, 36, was a 13-year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and worked with the rescue division for six years.

His friends had nicknamed him officer Rambo Dave for his love of the outdoors and the martial arts, CNN affiliate KTNV reported.

"David was one of the most sincere people, and I just can't believe it," Michael Connolly, a friend, told KTNV.

Vanbuskirk, who was married, is the first officer to die in the line of duty since 2009 in the the department, KVVU reported.

No information was released about the hiker.

CNN's Amanda Watts contributed to this report

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Bicyclist hit by Tahoe on Old Jacksonville Highway

    Bicyclist hit by Tahoe on Old Jacksonville Highway

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-08-27 03:20:26 GMT
    Photo: Kateria WinfreyPhoto: Kateria Winfrey
    TYLER -- (KYTX) A bicyclist has been taken to ETMC after being struck by a car near the 7500 block of Old Jacksonville Road. We are told the woman hit is an avid cyclist in Tyler. More >>
    TYLER -- (KYTX) A bicyclist has been taken to ETMC after being struck by a car near the 7500 block of Old Jacksonville Road. We are told the woman hit is an avid cyclist in Tyler. More >>
  • Workers fired after Whataburger confrontation goes viral

    Workers fired after Whataburger confrontation goes viral

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 10:04 AM EDT2014-08-26 14:04:28 GMT
    photo: (KTBS) photo: (KTBS)
    Whataburger has made fast work of some of its workers, saying it's fired those involved in an angry and disturbing confrontation at its restaurant in southeast Shreveport early Saturday.More >>
    Whataburger has made fast work of some of its workers, saying it's fired those involved in an angry and disturbing confrontation at its restaurant in southeast Shreveport early Saturday.More >>
  • UPDATE: I-20 back open after big rig fire

    UPDATE: I-20 back open after big rig fire

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 8:12 AM EDT2014-08-26 12:12:22 GMT
    TYLER (KYTX) - An 18-wheeler fire that started around 9:00 Monday night on I-20 near highway 155 has traffic being diverted, according to DPS dispatch.It's not clear on what caused the fire or if the driver has been injured. More >>
    TYLER (KYTX) - An 18-wheeler fire that started around 9:00 Monday night on I-20 near highway 155 has traffic being diverted, according to DPS dispatch.It's not clear on what caused the fire or if the driver has been injured. More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.