The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said a 911 call was received around 9:30 a.m. from a 16-year-old boy saying that his father had fallen from the top of Red Banks, roughly 12,820 feet up the mountain. The boy told dispatchers his father had fallen 150 down the slope and appeared to be immobilized.
Deputies said multiple agencies responded to the area. Around noon, rescuers learned that another hiker had reached the injured man and determined him to be alive but non-responsive.
According to police, a rescue helicopter crew was eventually able to extract the man, identified as 54-year-old Iowa resident James Martin Sieleman. He was pronounced dead by an onboard medic.
The SCSO said the boy was safely transported off the mountain and reunited with family members.
Sheriff Jon Lopey released a statement, saying in part, “Although this rescue mission tragically did not result in a live recovery, it was a valiant effort and it is a great comfort knowing we can rely on the CHP, California Army National Guard, USFS Rescue Climbers, and SCSO SAR members, most of whom are volunteers, to respond to these types of challenging and often hazardous calls for service. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Sieleman, his family and friends in the aftermath of his tragic death.”