Joe Eggleston has been identified as an NH hiker who fell off a cliff to his death

A New Hampshire hiker who fell 300 feet to his death while taking photos with his wife on a mountain has been identified as a beloved, deaf railroad engineer.

Joe “Eggy” Eggleston, 59, and his wife Kelley, 57, were at the summit of Mount Willard in Crawford Notch on Saturday morning when the tragedy struck, the Daily Mail reported.

“The hiker’s wife heard her husband scream and looked over to notice him falling over the mountain’s edge down a sheer cliff that extended about 800 feet to the bottom,” New Hampshire’s Fish and Game said in a statement .

After Kelley called 911 around 10:30 a.m., members of the Mountain Rescue Service responded to the scene, where they abseiled off the cliff and found Eggleston around 2:30 p.m., NBC Boston reported.

His body lay about 300 feet from where he had fallen.

Joe “Eggy” Eggleston, 59, fell 300 feet to his death from Mount Willard in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire.
Flickr / Mount Washington Cog Ra
Eggleston’s wife, Kelley, heard him scream before taking the fatal plunge.
NH Fish and Game

In freezing conditions and treacherous terrain, rescuers carried the man’s body back to the trailhead of the Mount Willard trail, arriving at around 6:45 p.m

Eggleston worked for the Mount Washington Cog Railway, where he was an engineer on a 1908 coal-powered steam train that offered scenic views of the largest mountain east of the Mississippi, the Daily Mail reported, citing the Yankee Magazine.

The Mount Washington Cog Railway said on its Facebook page that it is “still processing the devastating news over the weekend that we lost our friend and colleague Joe ‘Eggy’ Eggleston to a tragic hiking accident.

The Mount Washington Cog Railway mourned Eggleston on Facebook
The Mount Washington Cog Railway mourned the loss of the popular train engineer who was deaf.
Facebook / Andy X Vanguard

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife (and Bremser) Kelley, and to his friends and family. Eggy, who has lived with dignity since childhood with a profound hearing loss, once told us, ‘Where else could a deaf man fulfill his dream of driving a steam locomotive?’” the railroad said.

“His passion for The Cog was evident to everyone who has ever shared a moment or shift with him,” it added.

A colleague, Andy Vanguard, also shared his thoughts on the tragedy.

“A tragic loss of a great man and a true Cogger. RIP to Joe ‘Eggy’ Eggleston,” the train master wrote on Facebook. “Eggy’s warm smile and passion for what he did will always be remembered by those he touched. I’m honored to have shared a cab with him.”

He added: “His home will always be in these mountains that he loved. Gone too soon, never forgotten. This whistle will forever reverberate from these peaks for you.”

Another colleague, Denise Biguin, said: “Tomorrow will never be the same.”

She added: “I was always greeted by that bright smile that he shared with everyone. It was an honor to have known such a wonderful person,” the outlet said.

Eggleston and his railway colleagues
Eggleston, center, was an engineer on a 1908 coal-fired steam train.
Facebook / Andy X Vanguard

Eggleston’s death comes about a month after 19-year-old Vanderbilt University student Emily Sotelo was found frozen to death on another summit in New Hampshire while trying to meet her goal of climbing all 48 peaks in the state before she turned 20, Yahoo News reported.

Sotelo of Westford, Massachusetts was found dead on Mount Lafayette. Joe Eggleston has been identified as an NH hiker who fell off a cliff to his death


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