Irving woman dies after fall at Grapevine gym

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by MARIE SAAVEDRA

Bio | Email | Follow: @MSaavedraTV

WFAA

Posted on September 22, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 23 at 1:10 PM

Summit Climbing Gym

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GRAPEVINE — A woman died Sunday after reportedly falling up to 30 feet at the Summit Climbing Gym in Grapevine.

Susan Mailloux, 52, of Irving was said to be unresponsive after the fall at the facility in the 1000 block of Mustang Drive. She was airlifted to a local hospital by helicopter ambulance, but could not be revived.

Grapevine police say Mailloux did not correctly attach herself to the tethering system that would let her float freely back down the wall.

On a weekend, Summit Climbing Gym sees a steady stream of customers, but on Sunday afternoon, the doors abruptly closed after Mailloux's death.

The owner of the facility called it a "terrible accident," and added that he, his staff, and Grapevine police are working together to determine what happened.

"We haven't been able to contact next of kin at this point," said Grapevine police spokesman Sgt. Sam Shemwell.

Police said Mailloux was at the gym with two other people.

At this point, there are unanswered questions about what exactly happened before that woman died.

The Grapevine location is one of three that Summit operates in North Texas. The gyms offer small group and private lessons, and have a liability waiver on the website.

Photos show harnesses and safety ropes being employed. The website also says instructors are nationally certified and that "no one under the age of fourteen" is allowed to handle the safety ropes.

"I'm very, very shocked, and I'm very very worried," said Nikolette Garcia, a regular who showed up for a Sunday climb, then heard the news. She doesn't believe she knew the woman who died, but still feels the loss.

"If something happens to one of us, it affects the entire community," Garcia said.

A sign posted on the door said Summit Climbing Gym will be closed on Monday and Tuesday as the investigation continues.

E-mail msaavedra@wfaa.com

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