New Hampshire man dies in freak hammock accident while on hike

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A New Hampshire man was killed in a freak accident when he tied his hammock to a tree — only to have it fall and crush him to death as he was lounging in the wilderness, authorities said.

Edward Murphy, 50, had tied the hammock at a tent site near the Wild River Trail in Bean’s Purchase – but it soon crashed down, the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game said in a press release.

“There was no evidence of foul play and all indications point to this being a tragic accident,” the release said.

A search team found Murphy’s body Thursday after he’d gone missing while on a multi-day hike. The Sandown resident was due home Wednesday, the release said.

Fish and Game officers and a National Guard helicopter took part in the search, according to the release.

The dead spruce tree that fell on Murphy apparently had at least a 1-foot diameter, The Concord Monitor reported.

“It looks like he got there after dark, he had a headlamp on,” Lt. Mark Ober of the state Fish and Game Department told The Monitor.

“It appears he set up site after dark … and didn’t realize the tree was dead.”

The medical examiner’s “best guess” is that Murphy’s death was instantaneous, The Monitor said.

Murphy was in the process of trying to climb to the summit of every peak in New Hampshire higher than 4,000 feet, according to a gofundme.com page for the hiker. He had done 39 peaks so far, the page stated.

The page was set up to raise money for his 16-year-old daughter’s college fund, its organizer wrote.

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