Texas teen falls to his death in Cape Town tragedy

Texas teen falls to his death in Cape Town tragedy

Published Jun. 13, 2010 4:18 p.m. ET

A 14-year-old American tourist in South Africa during the World Cup plunged to his death from Table Mountain while hiking with his family, police said Sunday.

The teenager was hiking down the top tourist attraction with his brother and parents in wet conditions on Saturday when he slipped on a trail known as Skeleton Gorge shortly after 2:00 pm (1200 GMT).

"He slipped and he fell. As a result of the injuries he sustained, he died immediately there," said police spokesman Billy Jones.

Rescuers brought down the body and the family were assisted by the department of tourism and the United States embassy, he added.


The family, who are from Texas, were vacationing in South Africa and intended to watch some World Cup matches, said Jones.

They were hiking down the landmark Cape Town tourist site after catching the mountain's cable car to the top, he said.

The family have not been identified.

"We've been in touch with the family throughout," U.S. consulate spokesman Nathan Holt told AFP.

"We extend our deepest condolences to the family and we are grateful to the South African authorities for their excellent cooperation."

Cape Town is known for wet winters with the thick mist commonly shrouding the mountain's flat top, which overlooks the city, known as the peak's tablecloth. The highest point on Table Mountain is 3,560 feet (1085 meters).