Alexander Van Meter

Alexander Van Meter

Alexander L. Van Meter, a Herscher resident, 2010 Herscher High School graduate and an airman 1st class with the U.S. Air Force, died in a fall in a southwestern Idaho canyon late Sunday afternoon.

Van Meter's body was recovered at about 1 p.m. Monday in Bruneau Canyon, near Boise. An Idaho Army National Guard crew used a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter to retrieve the body.

Van Meter's death was reported by another airman, who said the pair were hiking together when Van Meter fell into the canyon near a popular overlook. The search was called off Sunday because of safety concerns.

Owyhee County Coroner Aaron Tines said he was notified of the death at about 5 p.m. Sunday. The cause of death remains under investigation.

Van Meter, 22, was an electro-environmental technician in the 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

The commander of the 366th Fighter Wing, Col. Chris Short, called the death a tragedy and the loss of a valued member of the unit.

Hometown News sent out a news release earlier this month detailing how Van Meter had recently graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

Van Meter is the son of current Galesburg residents Roy Van Meter and Sherry LaPayne.

Roy Van Meter is a veteran educator who is well-known in academic circles. He taught at Herscher High School for 21 years, and served as Herscher's band director for 13 years. He left Herscher to become principal at Crescent-Iroquois High School, and later served as principal at Iroquois West High School. He has been the principal at Galesburg High School since 2012.

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