San Benito County

Central Coast doctor falls to his death while rock climbing

MORGAN HILL, Calif. - A well-known Morgan Hill and Gilroy doctor died Tuesday after a rock climbing accident in Pinnacles National Park.

Joseph Kraut, Jr., 55, worked at Saint Louise Regional Hospital.

According to Donna Cumming, director of marketing at Saint Louise Regional Hospital, said Dr. Kraut generously gave his time and talents to the Gilroy and Morgan Hill communities since 1986, serving as vice chief of staff, chief of staff and numerous committees including the Saint Louise Board of Directors.

The Morgan Hill Times reports Kraut had been climbing with a "close friend" at the park in southwest San Benito County. Kraut was descending a rock face when a piece of equipment apparently malfunctioned.

The paper stated the rope gave way and Kraut lost his footing, falling from about 30 feet onto the ground below.



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