Some campers concerned about safety after death at High Falls

Safety concerns at High Falls State Park

A memorial outside of High Falls State Park is growing in memory of 12-year-old Christian Burdette.

While many community members are reflecting on his life, several visitors at High Falls are rethinking their safety strategies.

Melanie Carlton came to High Falls State Park for a little rest and relaxation.

“I'm looking forward to going fishing. That's what I was fixing to do,” said Carlton. “We like to come and see the nature we'd rather be outdoors than indoors.”

She and her dog Cocoa arrived over the weekend, but Monday afternoon, their first time at The Falls will be one she never forgets.

“I heard a lot of helicopters and stuff," she mentioned. "I knew it had something to do with a child; my heart just told me.”

Not one, but two children were swept away by the current and fell about 20 feet.

17-year-old James Burdette was rescued by helicopter.

His younger brother, Christian Burdette didn't survive. 

It's the second death this year at High Falls State Park.

Now, many campers say that they'll pay more attention to the warning signs that are lined along the trail.

“There are a lot of signs that say say stay off the rocks, stay off the rocks,” said Carlton.

Carlton says she sees this accident as a wake up call to be more careful, and to always look at her surroundings.

After the first death in May, we spoke to Park Manager Josh Purdy.

One of the safety tips he gave campers is to wear shoes with a lot of grip to try and keep you from falling.

And like the warning signs state, he advised campers and visitors to stay on the walking trails.

 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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