Kathi Jeanne Ludwig, 56, of Santa Clara, Calif., and her husband were in a group of eight, including two climbing guides, when the rock came tumbling toward the group at about 6 p.m. Sunday.

A California woman died after she was struck by a watermelon-sized rock Sunday while climbing Mount Shasta.

Kathi Jeanne Ludwig, 56, of Santa Clara, Calif., and her husband were in a group of eight, including two climbing guides, when the rock came tumbling toward the group at about 6 p.m. Sunday, according to a news release this morning from the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department.

Ludwig was struck on the left side of her body by the rock, which other climbers described as being the size of a watermelon, the sheriff's office said.

The force of the blow knocked Ludwig back at least 15 feet, rolling her three times on the frozen surface, breaking ribs and causing other fractures.

Rescue crews responded to the 11,000-foot location and administered CPR. Ludwig was airlifted to Mount Shasta Mercy Hospital, where she was pronounced dead upon arrival. The cause of death was listed as cardiac arrest due to the trauma to her upper body.