Naugatuck man dies hiking Mt. Washington


By Brigitte Ruthman, Republican-American

NAUGATUCK — A 66-year-old Naugatuck man died Aug. 14 after suffering a medical condition while hiking Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, despite efforts to save him.

New Hampshire Fish & Game officials identified the man, Timothy McClelland, on Aug. 18.

McClelland was hiking with his three adult sons on the Jewell Trail, attempting to summit the 6,288-foot mountain, when he suddenly collapsed at about 12:15 p.m. He was more than 2 miles up from the base station parking lot, according to information provided by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission. His sons immediately started CPR and called 911.

Fish and Game conservation officers started the rescue response, according to a news release.

Due to the nature of the medical emergency, officers requested air support was from an Army National Guard unit in Concord, N.H. The National Guard helicopter crew arrived at 2:48 p.m. but was unable to reach the area on the Jewell Trail due to low and thick cloud cover. The lack of visibility prevented the chopper from getting close enough.

After several attempts, the helicopter had to refuel at an airport in Berlin, N.H.

Additional help then was requested from search and rescue teams to get McClelland from the mountain.

During the time the helicopter was refueling, the thick cloud cover cleared, allowing the helicopter to hover above the hiker. When the helicopter arrived back at the station, a crew member and a basket were lowered and hoisted McClellan up by winch. The helicopter never landed.

McClelland died despite 2-and-a-half hours of resuscitation efforts.

McClelland worked for several years for the state Department of Corrections as a corrections officer and chaplain, according to his obituary. He was a man of strong faith, sharing the gospel in prison ministry and preaching at Cheshire Bible Chapel, West Woods Bible Chapel and other local churches.