NJ man dies just short of Appalachian Trail's end
MILLINOCKET, Maine (AP) — A 69-year-old hiker was within 20 miles of completing the Appalachian Trail for the third time when he suffered a fatal medical problem.
The Maine Forest Service received a call Thursday about a so-called "thru-hiker" who suffered stroke-like symptoms on a rugged stretch known as the 100-Mile Wilderness.
The hiker was Robert Yerike (YER'-ick) of Brick, N.J. He had to be carried more than 2 miles because bad weather made a helicopter rescue impossible. He died Thursday night at Millinocket Hospital.
Yerike started hiking in Georgia in March. His family says the former paratrooper known on the trail as "Buffalo Bobby" completed the more than 2,000-mile trail twice before.
One of his six children says he was planning to return to New Jersey on Sunday.