Shortly before 12:00 p.m. Sunday, July 31st, Yosemite National Park’s Emergency Communication Center received a 9-1-1 phone call reporting a hiker had fallen from the Half Dome cables. Hayley LaFlamme, a 26-year-old woman from San Ramon, California, had gone to the top of Half Dome and was descending when she fell 600 feet off the cables. National Park Rangers pronounced her dead upon arrival at the scene.
A severe lightning, thunder, and rainstorm was occurring in the area of Half Dome over several hours in the morning and early afternoon Sunday, which can make for hazardous trail conditions, causing the granite slopes to become very slick. The cause of the fall is under investigation.
The last hiker who died on Half Dome was Majoj Kumar, from San Ramon, California, on June 13, 2009.
Additionally, on June 16, 2007, Hirofumi Nohara, slipped to his death on the cables. Two other Half Dome fatalities involved women who were hiking on Half Dome when the cables were down. These were Jennifer Bettles, who died on April 21, 2007 and Emily Sandal, who died on November 8, 2006.