Teenager dies after fatal fall at Humpback Rock
Authorities advise students, hikers to use caution at night
A 13-year-old teenage girl lost her footing and fell to her death Sunday night near milepost 6 on the Humpback Rock trail. Ridge District Ranger Kurt Speers said the family and friends of the girl, who was identified as Alexandra Babaeva, were having a picnic in a designated picnic area when Babaeva and an 11-year-old boy went to climb around the rocks below the viewing area off the cliff’s edge. The young girl lost her footing and fell onto a parkway.
“In my time here this is the first sort of thing we’ve had,” Speers said. “We’ve had recreational climbing deaths, but this was just children scrambling around on the rock.”
Babaeva attended Pocahontas Middle School in Henrico, Va.
John McCall, director for outdoor recreation programs at the University, said he could see where you could easily take a wrong step looking over and fall considering it is such a steep drop. But students should not be afraid of visiting the popular hiking spot, he said.
“I’ve been up there with my kids – their ages as young as 2 and the oldest was 5 or 6 at the time,” he said. “You can do it. You just have to use caution.”