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‘Everything Changed In A Second’: Family In Shock After Hiking Death At Hanging Lake

By Matt Kroschel

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4)– The parents of the 8-year-old who died while on a hike at Hanging Lake Trail says they are still in disbelief their son in gone.

Noah Ragon from Highlands Ranch was hiking with his family at Hanging Lake in Garfield County on Monday when he was fatally wounded. His parents believe he was struck in the head by a falling rock.

noah pic Everything Changed In A Second: Family In Shock After Hiking Death At Hanging Lake

Noah Ragon (credit: Ragon Family)

He was laid to rest Friday. CBS4 was invited to meet with the family as they shared memories about the fun-loving and intelligent elementary student.

His father Aaron says the family is in shock. This tragedy stuck them on what was a fun family outing in the mountains.

aaron ragon Everything Changed In A Second: Family In Shock After Hiking Death At Hanging Lake

Aaron Ragon (credit: CBS)

Hanging Lake is the place Aaron has been hiking to since he was a kid, he said.

noah Everything Changed In A Second: Family In Shock After Hiking Death At Hanging Lake

Noah Ragon (credit: Ragon Family)

“We were having such a great trip and then everything changed in a split second,” Aaron told CBS4’s Matt Kroschel on Friday.

hanging lake death 5pkg frame 734 Everything Changed In A Second: Family In Shock After Hiking Death At Hanging Lake

CBS4’s Matt Kroschel interviews Lisa and Aaron Ragon (credit: CBS)

According to the Garfield County Coroner, Noah was hiking with his family and had reached the area of Spouting Rock near the waterfall. He was in the eyesight of his mother when something happened.

noah family pic Everything Changed In A Second: Family In Shock After Hiking Death At Hanging Lake

(credit: Ragon Family)

Several strangers who were also visiting the trail when the incident occurred attended the funeral.

lisa ragon Everything Changed In A Second: Family In Shock After Hiking Death At Hanging Lake

Lisa Ragon (credit: CBS)

“We were a mess, these people helped keep us calm and get us off that mountain,” Noah’s mom Lisa said.

hanging lake Everything Changed In A Second: Family In Shock After Hiking Death At Hanging Lake

Hanging Lake (credit: CBS)

The incident occurred in an area that is open to the public and is commonly an area where visitors stand to have their pictures taken. Some also stand in that area to feel the cooling effects of the mist from the waterfall.

The coroner also said it is common to see children in that area where Noah was standing when the incident occurred.

colorado getaways1 Everything Changed In A Second: Family In Shock After Hiking Death At Hanging Lake

Hanging Lake Trail (credit: CBS)

The family says they want to go back to the place where this tragedy happened so they can find some closure.

“This was a total freak accident, hold your children tight and don’t take any moments for granted,” Aaron said.

noah ragon go fund me Everything Changed In A Second: Family In Shock After Hiking Death At Hanging Lake

Noah Ragon (credit: GoFundMe)

The cause of death is blunt force injury of the head. The manner of death is an accident, according to the coroner.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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