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Bellingham dentist killed by falling boulder while hiking North Cascades

Eric Moldver, shown relaxing between patients at Interfaith Community Health Center in this May 2013 photo, was killed by a falling boulder Sunday, Aug. 9 while hiking in the North Cascades.
Eric Moldver, shown relaxing between patients at Interfaith Community Health Center in this May 2013 photo, was killed by a falling boulder Sunday, Aug. 9 while hiking in the North Cascades. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A Bellingham dentist hiking near Easy Pass Trail was killed by a falling boulder Sunday, Aug. 9, according to a North Cascades National Park spokeswoman.

Eric Moldver was hiking Sunday, his 46th birthday, with a group in Skagit County near Easy Pass Trail and Fisher Peak, said Denise Shultz. They were hiking in a steep area on some loose rock when a boulder fell from above Moldver and hit him on the head, she said.

One of the hikers descended the route and contacted an off-duty park ranger, who immediately radioed for assistance, Shultz said. Other hikers tried CPR.

A helicopter sent by the park service recovered Moldver’s body. He died from blunt-force trauma to the head, said Skagit County Coroner Daniel Dempsey.

The incident is under investigation by the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office and the Skagit County Coroner’s Office, Shultz said.

Moldver, a dentist at Interfaith Community Health Center, had a wife and two kids who live in Bellingham. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1991 with a zoology degree. After graduating from dental school, he spent three years in the U.S. Air Force Dental Corps, according to the health center’s website.

Jen Curlett, a hygienist who worked with Moldver, said he inspired her to be more helpful and caring to patients.

“He was the glue of the team. He brought everybody together and supported everyone,” Curlett said. “He was an awesome dad and husband, very supportive, adored his children.”

Dentist Mel Agan said patients loved seeing Moldver.

“Many of our patients come in with a lot of dental pain, they haven’t seen a dentist for a long time. He would let people know he’s there and he cares about them. From then on, they only want to see Dr. Moldver,” Agan said. “Just a good, sweet and kind man. He will be missed deeply.”

Reach Wilson Criscione at 360-756-2803 or wilson.criscione@bellinghamherald.com.

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