North Country
4:15 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Heart Attack Felled 'Lucky 10' On Appalachian Trail

Broadcast version

Robert Accola, the 54 year-old hiker found dead on the Appalachian Trail near Warren Monday, couldn’t wait to get to New Hampshire, says a sister, Katharine Accola of Providence, R.I.

“That is where we grew up hiking and that is the last place he hiked,” she said.

Accola, who began hiking north from Lee, Massachusetts on July 6th, died of a heart attack, according to his sister.

He was known on the trail by the nickname “Lucky 10.”

Accola had a heart attack when he was 39 and he picked Lucky 10 because by his account only 10 percent of those having a heart attack such as his survive.

Robert Accola on July 21st. Photo courtesy of the family.

News of his death quickly generated comments on www.whiteblaze.net, which is used by those hiking the Appalachian Trail.

One hiker wrote about being sick in Virginia when Lucky 10 stopped to help.

“I told him of my condition, and he opened up his food bag and unloaded an extra days meals on me, thinking that I would probably be delayed and hiking slower, thus needing more food before I could reach town,” he wrote.

He said Accola kept an eye out for him providing him with “water, ibuprofen and laughter” until he was strong enough to make it to the next town.

“He loved the trail. He loved the camaraderie. You hike alone but you are never alone, as he said,” his sister said.

Accola’s body was found in his tent at the Jeffers Brook Shelter, several miles south of Long Pond.

Another hiker noted “It's sad to hear of any death but when my time comes I hope to go as he did, active and outside doing something I enjoy rather than in a hospital room.”