A climber crushed during a rockfall at El Capitan while celebrating his one-year wedding anniversary used his body to shield his 28-year-old wife from the crumbling cliff side.
Andrew and Lucy Foster were excited to celebrate their first wedding anniversary with a three-week trip to Yosemite Valley — a climb they’d had been planning for months, the Times reported.
The couple, both lovers of the outdoors, were reportedly scouting an ascent from the trail at the base of the El Capitan monolith when a slab of granite — described by witnesses to be “the size of a 13-story apartment” — broke off and plummeted downward.
Lucy Foster was seriously injured in the incident and family members say the only reason she survived was because her husband leapt on top of her.
A huge chunk of granite killed a British tourist, Andrew Foster, 32, of Wales, while he and his wife were hiking at the bottom of El Capitan.
(Eric Paul Zamora/AP)
Her aunt, Gillian Stephens, recalled the words of her niece in wake of the tragedy: “She said: ‘Andrew saved my life. He dived on top of me as soon as he could see what was going to happen. He saved my life.’”
Stephens additionally told the Times that Andrew’s 57-year-old mother had just recently been given a clean bill of health after battling breast cancer. She said the family travelled to America to recover Andrew’s body and that they are “absolutely devastated.”
Park ranger Scott Gediman told BBC the husband and wife were caught in an unfortunate situation of “wrong place, wrong time.”
Andrew Foster’s death is the first fatality from a rockfall at the park in four years, according to park services. However, there have been more recent incidents involving daredevils and BASE-jumpers.
Andrew Foster proposed to his wife during a ski trip in the Alps back in 2015, and they were married the following year.
The couple, who lived in Cardiff, ran a blog together — “Cam and Bear” — in which they expressed their love for outdoors.
“We are a young married couple who enjoy nothing more than getting out and having adventures in the mountains together,” it reads. “We are not extreme athletes and describe ourselves simply as passionate weekend warriors.”
Andrew and Lucy Foster are thought to be the only ones injured in the collapse Wednesday.