Michigan man, 85, dies in fall from zip line at camp

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 25, 2015 3:09 PM

(Reuters) - An 85-year-old man died after falling about 25 feet while using a zip line at a Christian camp on Saginaw Bay in Michigan, authorities said on Friday.

James J. McNeil of Belmont, Michigan, was killed in the fall on Thursday afternoon at the Bay Shore Camp in Sebewaing Township, Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson said in a statement.

Statements from witnesses and video indicate that the zip line harness attached to McNeil came unfastened causing him to suffer fatal injuries in a fall, the statement said.

McNeil was pronounced dead at a hospital about 15 miles away in Pigeon, Michigan, it said. The Huron County Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy for the investigation, which continues.

Bay Shore Camp, which provides services for youth and adults as well as rentals, said there have been no other accidents involving the zip line during its years of operation and the camp is cooperating with the investigation.

"As a ministry dedicated to the spiritual growth of families and individuals, we are deeply saddened by this tragic loss," Camp Director Jeff Parsons said in a statement. "We are actively working to care for the family and friends of this individual and we share in their grief."

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Sandra Maler)