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Sunday, September 09, 2012

Hiker Shot in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park as seen from a hill
above Gatlinburg, TN (Photo: James Hawkins)
A 29-year old man hiking in a remote area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been shot twice. Luckily, he survived and has already been released from the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he had been transported for treatment.

Of course, many hikers are raising now the question: Is hiking in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park still safe?

Park officials say a 911 call was made to Cocke County Dispatch just after 5 p.m. from a man who said he had been shot while hiking in the Laurel Springs Road area near Cosby.
Emergency Medical Services arrived on scene to find that the individual, a 29-year-old male, did indeed have two gunshot wounds to his lower leg. He was flown to University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment.
"The man claimed to have not seen his assailant, but did hear two gun shots just before he realized he had been struck," park officials said. (Source: National Parks Traveler)

The investigation continues...

National Park Service rangers and special agents are continue to investigate a reported shooting in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
It happened around 5 p.m. Friday near Laurel Springs Road in the Cosby area.
Sanford Lethco, 29, of Sevier County, reported he was shot twice in the leg while hiking in the park, off the trail.
 Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the park's tip line at 436-1580.
Rangers are working with the Cocke County (Tenn.) Sheriff's Office to secure the area along Laurel Springs Road, the closest road to where the shooting reportedly occurred.
"We do not perceive any threat to visitors inside the park as this incident occurred in a remote area well off established trails," said Chief Park Ranger Clay Jordan. (Source).

Here's a list of guide books and hiking trails (from Amazon) in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.


What do you think? Will this incident effect how many outdoor enthusiasts will go hiking in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in the future? Please share your thoughts below and leave a comment.