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Accident Prevention

Fatal Gym Accident

On Sunday, September 22, a fatal accident occurred at the Summit Climbing Gym in Grapevine, Texas, when a woman fell 30 feet.

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On Sunday, September 22, Susan Maillour fell and died at the Summit Climbing Gym in Grapevine, Texas. Mailloux, of Irving, Texas, was climbing in the gym that evening when she fell 25 to 30 feet, according to www.dallasnews.com. Police have reported that Mailloux was climbing unsupervised, and had forgotten to clip her harness into the auto belay device she was using. Mailloux was airlifted to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, but was pronounced dead on arrival. Police are investigating. According to www.nbcdfw.com, Mailloux was an experienced climber and an employee of Time Warner Cable for 14 years. She was 52.

There are between 800 and 1,200 climbing gyms in the U.S., and gym climbers tie or clip in approximately one million times a day. Despite the high numbers, fatalities remains relatively low—the only other reported death was in 2007, when 19-year-old Elizabeth Fetzer was killed climbing at the Elevator Rock Climbing Gym in Wichita Falls, Texas. According to the 2013 Climbing Wall Association Insurance Survey results, 12 percent of climbing gyms in the U.S. filed a claim on their general liability insurance in the past year.