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Injuries Prove Fatal To Hiker Who Fell in Great Smoky Mountains National Park


A fall nearly a month ago from the top of Grotto Falls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park has proved fatal to a Tennessee hiker. NPS photo.

A 25-year-old Tennessean died Wednesday from injuries suffered nearly a month ago in a fall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Jeremy Frye, of Knoxville, fell 25-30 feet from the top of Grotto Falls along the park's Trillium Gap Trail back on November 8.

He suffered apparent leg, back and head injuries in the mishap. Rangers responded to the scene and transported the victim by wheeled litter about 1.5 miles to the Trillium Gap Trailhead. He was then transferred to Gatlinburg Ambulance and subsequently was flown by LIFESTAR to The University of Tennessee Hospital in Knoxville.


Sometimes accidents just happen. I once suffered a concussion while skiing, even though I was only skiing a green run, was wearing a helmet, and did not run into a tree or other obstacle - just fell to the ground (or possibly collided with another skier - the details are not known and I don't recall due to the concussion).

Hikers, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts often under-estimate the risks involved in what appear to be non-risky adventures even when being cautious and following the rules. However, in speaking with numerous park rangers over the years it seems to me that most serious / fatal accidents happen when people ignore safety precautions.

Does anyone know the specifics of this accident?

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