KOTA KINABALU: A friend of the teacher who died while hiking at a recreation park in Kg Entilibon in Sabah’s central Tongod district has come out to explain that they never left his side throughout the activity.
The friend, who only wanted to be identified as Ellen Joan, said certain new reports stating that 29-year-old Jahir Korotok had gone missing before he was found unconscious were not right.
“All of us stayed close to each other throughout the hike, no one got side-tracked or went missing along the way, ” she explained.
She said the trouble they faced during that time was only bad telecommunication reception at some parts of the hike due to the geographical condition.
Ellen said their guide had tried to inform forestry rangers about their predicament using a walkie talkie when Jahir fell unconscious at around noon on Saturday (May 22).
“Jahir had stopped walking suddenly, pulled one of our friends’ arms before sitting down and falling unconscious, ” she said.
She said that some of the hikers had later gone down the hill first to get better phone reception and to lodge a police report, while others stayed back with the unconscious Jahir.
Ellen said the misguided information has resulted in a lot of unwanted backlash, especially towards his friends ho were with him during the hike.
She also expressed regret over the condition of the hiking trail which she said was dangerous and lacked safety features.
According to initial reports by the rescue officials, they had gotten a call about some lost hikers prior to the discovery of Jahir, who was already unconscious when rescuers reached him
His friends were with him when rescuers arrived.
Jahir’s cause of death is yet to be known, as medical officials are still waiting for his Covid-19 test results to come out before they can conduct a post-mortem.