Local News


Hiker describes moment fellow hikers died

Posted at 12:20 AM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 09:45:47-04
It's been a week since two people died in a terrible hiking accident. Sean Randles and Melanie Kushnir both fell off a cliff before they died. A memorial was held for them Sunday night at Calico Basin. Hikers who were with them the day they died spoke to 13 Action News about the moments leading up to their deaths.
Laszlo Heredy was part of the six person hiking group. He can still see and hear the moment his hiking partners fell to their death.
"I was extremely despondent and saying to myself, oh my god, this is just like a nightmare I have once in a while. Soon I will wake up and everything will be as it was," said Heredy. "But I could never wake up."
Laszlo says it was a beautiful day when the group set off to hike. They made it to the top and celebrated with snacks and pictures. They were on their way down the peak when tragedy struck.
"Disaster struck as fast and unexpectedly as we can imagine."
He describes the moment Melanie Kushnir lost her footing and slipped on some water.
"I looked back and this gal was already on her butt sliding as if she were on a water slide."
Seconds later, Laszlo watched the other victim, Sean Randles, lunge to Melanie to try and stop her from sliding before she reached the edge of the cliff.
"Her momentum was just so strong by then. He grabbed her and said I got you, I won't let you go. And they both went over. I still see them flying over the ledge."
He says they landed 50 or 60 feet down the peak. They laid 10 feet apart.
Laszlo went down the peak to be with them as they took their last breaths. The other three hikers went to get help.
"There's no greater sacrifice anyone can ever make than to try and give your own life to save another and I witnessed it. And I pray I could rewind the tape that it would be successful."