19-year-old Levi Duclos dies while hiking in Ripton
NEW HAVEN — The five-town community is mourning the death of Levi Duclos, 19, of New Haven, who died during a hiking trip that began Monday afternoon on the Emily Proctor Trail in Ripton.
Vermont State Police Sgt. Robert Patten said it appeared as though Duclos, an experienced hiker, sustained a leg injury during his 12-mile hike and was unable to make it back to safety during a cold night. Patten said Duclos’s body was recovered shortly before noon on Tuesday around three miles from the trailhead. There were signs that after he was injured Duclos had tried to slide himself along the trail, according to Patten. While Duclos was dressed in hiking gear, it was not adequate to sustain him during an entire evening in the elements, Patten said.
Duclos’s family had reported the young man missing during the evening of Jan. 9.
Patten stressed Duclos’s death is believed to have been accidental, with no indication of foul play at this time. An autopsy has been ordered by Addison County State’s Attorney David Fenster, with results pending.
Duclos was recalled by friends as an intelligent, dedicated and athletic young man, who graduated from Mount Abraham Union High School in 2010. He had taken a year off after high school to travel and seek out adventures. He was on a break from Portland, Ore.’s Reed College at the time of his death.
Duclos played three years of varsity soccer at Mount Abe and was team captain during his senior year. Mike Corey, varsity boys’ soccer coach, said Duclos possessed all the attributes a student-athlete needs to succeed.
“I can honestly say that I have not coached a player who was more dedicated to the process, to his team and to his coach than Levi,” said Corey, who began coaching at Mount Abe in 1988. Levi’s younger brother, Clayton, was a junior on the Mount Abe soccer team this year.
Corey called Levi Duclos “focused, determined, attentive and hard working,” someone who expected a lot of himself. That work ethic, Corey said, rubbed off on his teammates.
“He was a wonderful human being,” Corey said.
“It is always tragic when someone 19 years old passes away,” he added. “But it is compounded because (Duclos) had so much potential.”
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].
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