- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) - An Indiana man more than halfway into a rim-to-rim hike at the Grand Canyon has died.

Park officials say 46-year-old Michael Sperry of Valparaiso collapsed Friday and stopped breathing on the North Kaibab Trail. He and his two brothers were about 12 miles into the 21-mile trip.

Officials say witnesses immediately began CPR but weren’t able to revive Sperry.

The rim-to-rim hikes take visitors over steep, rocky and winding terrain, with elevation of a few thousand feet and temperature variances of more than 20 degrees.

Sperry’s death marks the 24th fatality at the park this year. That number is higher than average and includes 13 natural deaths, two suicides and three drownings.

The Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to determine Sperry’s exact cause of death.

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