Brendan Weber

Cupertino Woman Killed by Falling Rock, Ice on Closed Yosemite Trail

A 56-year-old Cupertino woman hiking on a closed trail in Yosemite National Park died after she was hit by falling rock and ice Sunday afternoon, according to park officials.

Xuan Wang was hiking on the Mist Trail when the rock and ice came crashing down, park officials said in a statement. She died shortly after being struck.

The trail Wang was exploring, which runs along the Merced River from Yosemite Valley to the top of Vernal Fall, is closed during the winter due to icy and hazardous conditions, park officials said.

Park officials noted that the trail closure is "clearly marked" and that a gate on the trail reminds people of the closure. They said Wang "ignored the signs" and slipped past the gate.

Family members said Wang, who worked as a software engineer at LinkedIn, was with a friend and was familiar with the park's trails.

"My mom was hiking with a hiking buddy," Wang's son Dylan Qian said. "She loved the outdoors and passed away doing what she loved."

One of Wang's neighbors said he's well aware of the dangers of the trail.

"We've taken this trail a number of times, and it's very slippery, and it's got a steep drop off from the side of the trail," Marvin Texeira said.

Wang's death remains under investigation.

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