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Body of Hiker Recovered from Mount Sunapee

June 5, 2006

CONCORD, N.H. - On Sunday, June 4, 2006, rescuers carried the body of hiker Donald Leighton off the south side of Mount Sunapee in Newbury, New Hampshire.

Leighton, age 56, of Concord, was hiking on the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail with a friend when he collapsed just north of Lucia's Lookout, approximately 4.5 miles south of the Newbury Trail trailhead near Lake Sunapee. His hiking companion, Richard Martel of Pembroke, hiked back to the trailhead to alert authorities.

Thirty rescuers from NH Fish and Game, the Newbury Fire Department, and the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team participated in the recovery effort, which took more than 6 hours in extremely rough conditions and ended around midnight. According to Sgt. Brian Suttmeier of NH Fish and Game, rescuers carried Leighton's body about three miles over rugged and rocky trails in rain, fog and darkness.

The State Medical Examiner's office determined that Leighton died suddenly of complications from heart disease.

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