Ann Arbor woman killed in Grand Canyon mudslide was recent University of Michigan graduate
FOX 2 – A 29-year-old woman from Ann Arbor was killed in a flash flood in Arizona’s Grand Canyon.
Rebecca Copeland had just completed a double master’s degree in public health management and public policy from the University of Michigan.
Her teacher, David Huttton, was shocked to hear the news.
“A real bright light, very passionate about public health and improving our public health system,” he said. “(She was on a) fun once in a lifetime experience, then just a sudden flood is just plain shocking.”
Copeland was on a commercial rafting trip from Colorado to the Grand Canyon with about 30 people. On | Wednesday we were told the group did all they were supposed to – pulling their rafts over a campsite, up the river and away from the mouth of the washhouse – but around 5 p.m. been affected by a flash flood.
Kait Thomas, of the National Park Service, shared photos from the same area where a similar flash flood occurred a few years ago.
“In this case, the group was camping at a place called Tatabahasa Camp which is near a narrow canyon with potential for flash flooding,” Thomas said. “There was so much rain, so quickly, that the flooding had an impact on the washout, but the camp itself, just a lot of debris and flood water, twigs, rocks, debris all flooded the campsite completely washed away their camp. “
Five people, who were injured by rocks, sticks and other debris in the powerful waters caused by the monsoon rains, had to be airlifted out of the Grand Canyon.
Rebecca Copeland was missing her body which was later found at the edge of the campsite.
“She died of either a combination of debris flow and drowning, or a possible combination of the two,” Thomas said. “We won’t know for sure until we receive a report from a medical examiner.”
A family friend told FOX 2 by phone that the family is devastated by the loss of Rebecca, a bright and amazing young woman who hoped to make healthcare more accessible when she started her new job at the center. innovation in Medicare and Medicaid.
“There are a few selected students doing a double degree in our Masters program, and in addition, one of a dozen students selected nationally to receive the David A. Winston Fellowship in Health Policy. highlights what a rare gem she is. ”