• Police release ID of hiker who died on Crowders Mountain

    By: Catherine Bilkey


    GASTONIA, N.C. - Update:

    Police have identified the man who was killed during a hiking accident on Crowders Mountain.                                                                            

    Gary Mims, 55, was hiking alone during Saturday's stormy weather when it happened.

     Police believe it was just an accident and the bad weather may be to blame.

     As of right now, they aren't sure exactly what happened, but said another hiker found Mims and called 911.

    Hiker found dead on Crowders Mountain

    A hiker died Saturday on Crowders Mountain. Crews found him after a woman dialed 911, saying someone needed help. But when firefighters and other crews got to the scene, the man had already dead.

    Investigators determined that there was no foul play involved. They think the weather contributed to the accident.

    "I know that we had some extreme rain and weather conditions that probably resulted in some poor visibility but other than that everything seemed fine," Park Ranger Mary Smith said.

    Investigators told Eyewitness News they're not sure what happened at the top of Crowders Mountain, but they say another hiker called 911 just before 3:30 p.m. They're not sure if she saw the accident or just found the victim.

    "The visitor called in saying someone needed help, and that's how we got the 911 call," Smith said.

    When crews arrived they found the man near the peak.

    "From all indications he was an avid hiker," Smith said.

    The accident has scared other people in the community who also enjoy the outdoors.

    "You never know what's going to happen out there from one day to the next," hiker Jason Radcliff said. "You can wake up one morning and see your family, tell them bye, you love them and maybe never see them again."

    Investigators have identified the victim but are not releasing the name until all family notifications have been made.

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