LinkedIn software engineer killed by falling rocks and ice on closed trail at Yosemite National Park: Officials

Xuan Wang's death occurred on a trail closed after hiker died in December.

February 26, 2019, 1:18 PM

A California outdoors enthusiast killed by falling rocks and ice at Yosemite National Park this week became the second hiker in two months to die on Mist Trail, a steep, 3-mile path that has been closed to the public since a Los Angeles man died there on Christmas Day after slipping and tumbling down a granite slope into a river.

Xuan Wang, 56, of Cupertino was killed Sunday while hiking with a friend on the closed trail, the National Park Service said in a statement.

"She loved the outdoors and passed away doing what she loved," Wang's son, Dylan Qian, said in a statement on Tuesday to ABC News.

PHOTO: Xuan Wang, 56, pictured in an undated family photo, was killed while hiking on a trail in Yosemite National Park in California, Feb. 24, 2019.
Xuan Wang, 56, pictured in an undated family photo, was killed while hiking on a trail in Yosemite National Park in California, Feb. 24, 2019.
Courtesy Dylan Qian

He said his mother worked as a software engineer for LinkedIn, the online professional networking site.

"Xuan was a beloved daughter, wife, colleague, aunt, friend, and mom," Qian's statement reads. "She's had a positive impact on everyone she has touched, and her love will be felt long after she is gone."

She loved the outdoors and passed away doing what she loved.

LinkedIn officials said Wang was a "valued" employee at the company and would be missed.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of Xuan Wang while hiking this past weekend in Yosemite," Nicole Leverich, Senior Director at LinkedIn, said in a statement. "She has been a valued member of the LinkedIn team and will be missed. We have extended our deepest sympathy to her family and are providing support to our employees during this difficult time.”

Wang was killed about 12:30 p.m. on Sunday as she and a friend were hiking on the Mist Trail, a steep 3-mile path leading from Yosemite Valley to Vernal Fall, according to the National Park Service statement.

PHOTO: In this file photo taken on June 03, 2015 the El Capitan monolith is seen in the Yosemite National Park in California.
In this file photo taken on June 03, 2015 the El Capitan monolith is seen in the Yosemite National Park in California.
AFP/Getty Images, FILE

"The trail closure is clearly marked and there is a gate on the trail reminding visitors of the closure," the Park Service statement reads. "Wang ignored the signs, went around the gate and the incident happened on the trail leading to Vernal Fall."

Qian said he and his family are investigating the circumstances surrounding his mother's death.

PHOTO: Hikers make their way up the Mist Trail leading to the top of Vernal Falls at Yosemite National Park in California, May 11, 2009.
Hikers make their way up the Mist Trail leading to the top of Vernal Falls at Yosemite National Park in California, May 11, 2009.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Images, FILE

"She has always been a very careful and thorough person and it is extremely out of character for her to actively cross onto a closed area," Qian said.

The Mist Trail was closed on Jan. 5 after 32-year-old Joshua Conner of Los Angeles was killed on Christmas Day while hiking in the area near Vernal Fall. Park officials said Conner apparently slipped and tumbled down a granite slop into the Merced River.

Officials said the Mist trail is usually closed in the winter to visitors due to the hazardous icy condition.

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