Ohio Woman Killed On NC Side Of National Park
Heavy rains this week caused many rivers and creeks to overflow their banks sending flood waters across area roads. While there were some water rescues done, no deaths were reported. However swift water claimed a life yesterday afternoon in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The tragedy happened on the North Carolina side. Park officials say at 2:18 Thursday afternoon, they received a call from the victim’s companions that 34 year old Megan Thompson of Cleveland Heights, Ohio was kayaking on the Oconaluftee River near Smokemont Campground when she went underwater and didn’t resurface. According to witnesses, Thompson floated over swift rapids before being pinned between a fallen tree and the riverbank. At 2:57 p.m., emergency responders freed her body and removed her from the river where she was pronounced dead by the medical examiner. Park officials say that while rare, drowning is the third leading cause for death in the Smokies, following motor vehicle accidents and plane accidents. This is the first fatality in the park this year and is the 61st drowning on record.