Death of Croydon hospital radio DJ David March in Snowdonia may have been caused by navigational error
A navigational error may have led to a hospital radio DJ plunging to his death while walking in Snowdonia, an inquest heard.
David March, from Thornton Heath, fell up to 330ft (100m) from above Devil’s Kitchen in the Ogwen Valley at about 6pm on October 12.
Ogwen Valley mountain rescue team leader Paul Smith said Mr March may have missed the path down from Devil’s Kitchen to Llyn Idwal and was looking for an alternative route.
Though wearing suitable clothing and boots, the Croydon University Hospital radio chairman had no compass, map or GPS and may therefore have become disorientated.
Low cloud and slippery rocks made conditions difficult and the 36-year-old slid over the edge of a cliff before plunging 130 feet onto rocks. He suffered massive head, chest and leg injuries and died immediately.
Solicitor Elizabeth England, from Cheshire, who had been walking with friends on Tryfan and the Glyders, described how visibility was down to 15ft.
She and her friends were descending and a few yards apart when she heard rocks moving and a “whoosh” sound. Mr March then appeared falling through the mist and hit the rocks below.
“He just dropped out of the sky,” she said.
The inquest in Ruthin heard Mr March, who lived in Penshurst Road, and was a studio manager with BBC World Service, was a keen photographer who often walked in the mountains.
His father, Alan March, from Northampton, said his son had an affinity with Wales and was learning Welsh.
At his funeral donations were received towards the mountain rescue team and Croydon University Hospital radio.
Recording a conclusion of accidental death, John Gittins, the coroner for North Wales East and Central, said it was possible Mr March had dropped the camera bag which he had been carrying and tried to retrieve it.
He said: “Unfortunately weather conditions overtook him.
“It is very sad because through his work he would have touched many thousands of people.”
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