Teacher died from 100ft fall after ‘taking wrong route’ in Italian Dolomites

·2-min read
Louise Atkinson, 55, died on holiday with partner John Dickinson, 58 (Facebook)
Louise Atkinson, 55, died on holiday with partner John Dickinson, 58 (Facebook)

A British mother-of-three fell more than 100ft to her death in the Italian Dolomites after reportedly taking the wrong route by accident.

Louise Atkinson, 55, has been named as the well-loved teacher who died on Sunday while hiking on holiday with her partner John Dickinson, 58.

The couple took the wrong turn and ended up on a more challenging path during a trek in Catinaccio, a mountain rescue spokesman told the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph.

The pair found themselves at a high altitude via Ferrata cableway, which translates to “iron path” in English.

The route normally sees experienced climbers fixed to cables, rungs or ladders using specialist equipment.

Mrs Atkinson and Mr Dickinson, from Ripon, North Yorkshire, are said to have realised they didn’t have the equipment and turned back.

They were close to the correct route when Mrs Atkinson, who worked at St Wilfred’s Catholic Primary School, slipped and fell. She died before a rescue helicopter arrived at the scene.

A mountain rescue spokesman told the Daily Mail: “Her partner and others who had seen what happened raised the alarm but there was nothing that could be done.

“The woman’s children… have arrived to formally identify the body and once the all clear has been given by the local prosecutor she will be repatriated back to Britain.

“The route they ended up on was much higher and more difficult than they were used to and that is what led to the accident.”

Mrs Atkinson was very active and used to go running with her partner, who runs a car valeting firm.

Louise Atkinson was hiking in Catinaccio, background, when she fell to her death (Alamy/PA) (Alamy/PA)
Louise Atkinson was hiking in Catinaccio, background, when she fell to her death (Alamy/PA) (Alamy/PA)

One neighbour said: “It is dreadful shock. She was a teacher and only broke up last week. They left for their holidays at the weekend.

“She loved teaching and the pupils are going to be sad when they find out Miss Atkinson has died.”

Another local added: “It is such a shock. I only spoke to her the day before she went on holiday and she was really looking forward to the adventure.”

Mrs Atkinson’s death came about a week after a 54-year-old hiker fell to his death nearby.

Earlier this month, an avalanche on the Dolomites killed nearly a dozen people when a huge chunk of ice detached from a melting glacier and sent a torrent of ice, rock and debris on to hikers below.

The latest Dolomites death is the second confirmed tragedy involving Britons in Italy in the last week.

It follows the death of businessman Aran Chada, a 51-year-old sales director from Leicestershire, who is thought to have had a seizure when he leapt from a boat into Lake Garda to save his young son from drowning.

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