Second fell walker dies after fall from ridge

A SECOND fell walker has died after falling from a ridge on a Lake District peak.

Police and Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team were called to reports that a man in his 40s had fallen from Helvellyn in the Lake District.

The man had been out walking close to Swirral Edge with a group of friends just before 2pm on Thursday.

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Philip Ashton, 43, from Haydock, near St Helens, was winched on to an RAF helicopter and airlifted to Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle for treatment for head injuries but later died.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident.

Mr Ashton's family has been informed and the case has been passed to the coroner.

This is the second death after a fall from Swirral Edge this week.

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On Monday, Alan Burns, 39, from Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, was out walking on Helvellyn with two friends when he fell through a cornice of snow on Swirral Edge.

A search and rescue operation was launched and Mr Burns was taken by RAF helicopter to Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle where he died from his injuries.

An outdoor enthusiast and experienced mountaineer, Mr Burns was a member of Preston Climbing Club and a former mountain rescue team member.

He was a father to two children, Evan, four, and Honor, two.

Yesterday his family paid tribute to him.

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His wife, Kerry Burns, said: "Alan was much loved by everyone. He was very much a family man, a wonderful husband and father, and a kind and generous friend. He will be greatly missed by all of us who knew him.

"We are absolutely devastated."

His mother, Ann Burns, said: "Alan loved life and loved the outdoors, and thoroughly enjoyed walking and climbing in the hills."

She added: "It was something that was a part of him and made him very happy."

Police and mountain rescue team leaders are reminding walkers to take extra care and ensure they are fully equipped for the conditions before taking to the fells.