Tuesday, Aug 9, 2005
Additional details have been released on Jeff Christensen's death and on the memorial service in the park and the subsequent funeral in Minnesota. Jeff Christensen was killed on Friday, July 29th, when he suffered head injuries as a result of a fall near the south slope of Donner Ridge on Mt. Ypsilon. The accident, which was not witnessed, is estimated to have occurred in mid-afternoon while Jeff was on a backcountry patrol in the Mummy Range area of the park. His body was discovered at about 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 6th, by a group of hikers. His mother and father were out in the park at the time of discovery and were notified as soon as they could be reached. The Larimer County Coroner's Office has estimated the time of Jeff's death to be 'late p.m.' on July 29th, which is defined as between 6 p.m. and midnight. His body was recovered on Saturday evening and evacuated by helicopter. Investigators from the National Park Service and the Larimer County Sheriff's Office processed the accident scene. A National Park Service employee fatality requires that a serious accident investigation team continue the investigation into his death. This team is now assembling and beginning to gather information. Upon conclusion of the investigation, more details will be released. The memorial service for Jeff will be held on Wednesday, August 10th, at 9:30 a.m. at Hyde Chapel at the YMCA of the Rockies complex in Estes Park. Jeff's family has asked that the memorial service be a celebration of his life. His family is encouraging park staff and volunteers to attend the service. A reception will follow in the Walnut Room within the YMCA complex. Uniformed employees attending the service are to be in summer Class A uniform. All uniformed employees are to meet at Hyde Chapel at 8:30 a.m. This was Jeff's fifth season as a Rocky Mountain National Park employee. His first four years were on the park's west side. His first season was with the maintenance division and his last four seasons were as a park ranger. Jeff's funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m., Friday, August 12th, at Saint Paul's Church, 1740 Bunker Lake Boulevard, Ham Lake, Minnesota. Representatives from the park and incident management team will be in attendance. If you want to assist Jeff's family, an account has been opened at a local bank. Donations should be sent t Jeff Christensen Family Fund, The Bank of Colorado, PO Box 2560, 533 Big Thompson Avenue, Estes Park, CO 80517. Checks should be made payable to the Jeff Christensen Family Fund. Cards or remembrances may be sent to The Christensen Family c/o Rocky Mountain National Park, 1000 US Highway 36, Estes Park, CO 80517.Important note: Flags at all parks nationwide EXCEPT as noted below are to be lowered to half staff, effective this morning. They are to remain at half staff until Friday's interment, then should be returned to full staff on Saturday. The one exception is the National Mall and Memorial Park in downtown Washington. Flags at all sites in this park ' the Washington Monument and the other memorials in the city's core area ' are to remain at FULL staff.