DNR examining High Falls signs after boy died in accident

DNR examining High Falls signs after accident

It's been almost two months since Christian Burdette died in the waterfall at High Falls State Park.

Zach Merchant has been following this story from the beginning, and on Saturday he took a trip to see what park officials have been doing since the accident.

The marketing coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources commission, Colby Moore says they've done everything they could do to strike a balance between allowing people to visit areas of the waterfall without letting them go too far. 

That was the preliminary finding of a DNR commission tasked with examining the fatal accident at High Falls State Park earlier this year.

There are signs posted all over the banks of the waterfall warning of its danger.

"Here's another of our warning signs, again at a key juncture where people HAVE to look at it," Moore said. 

But even though the signs explicitly tell park visitors to stay out of the water and off the rocks, some said the message wasn't clear.

"We saw them on the railings, but we thought it was just for the railings because that's where the waterfalls are like the fastest kind of, and then there's all these flat rocks over here," said hiker, Lindsey Grant. "You always see people walking on the flat rocks. I mean I had my 8-year-old out there with me."

Another hiker said he knew of the Burdette brothers' accident, but it didn't stop him from walking out on the rocks.

"I mean I've been out here plenty of times when it's like this and never thought twice about it.," Jackson O'neal mentioned. "I mean it definitely makes me be more careful but I don't know if it's a definite deterrent."

Moore says the DNR commission is looking into ways to make the signs more visible, but that it's important for visitors to take their own safety seriously.

In the end, the goal is to make sure that what happened to the Burdettes never happens again.

Moore says the signs could be changed to high visibility colors, and the part of the Georgia code that makes it illegal to disobey them might be posted on those signs as well.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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