By Alexander Shedd
After two days without an update on the hiker that fell from McAfee Knob on Sunday, Roanoke County Fire & Rescue has confirmed that Paul Classen, a 23-year-old man from the Netherlands, perished from injuries sustained on May 29 after falling approximately 50 feet from the summit of McAfee Knob in the Masons Cove area of Roanoke County. Though not reported until Tuesday, Classen apparently passed away in the hospital shortly after his rescue.
Roanoke Co. Fire & Rescue responded to the scene at around 6 a.m. on Sunday after receiving a report of a hiker fallen off the mountain. The crews reached Classen nearly an hour later and provided aid before carrying him to the summit. From there, the crew and Classen were taken by helicopter to Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Three all-terrain vehicles and about 30 fire
& rescue personnel and three police officers were used in this rescue operation. Fire & Rescue has not released any additional details regarding Paul Classen’s identity or family and will not provide any further updates on this story.
McAfee Knob is a geological feature located near the peak of Catawba Mountain with an elevation of nearly 3,200 feet above sea level. The area is highly popular with tourists and hikers, with McAfee Knob itself being famous for its stunning panoramic views. Mountain hiking can be an incredibly dangerous activity and can result in serious injuries or death even when proper precautions are taken. Always be prepared when hiking and follow local safety guidelines and regulations.