"Keep Sheriff Tommy J. Jones"

"Keep Sheriff Tommy J. Jones"

Friday, August 10, 2012

Man who did a Peter Pan from Bald River Falls 'slipped'

As we now have learned, the incident on July 28, 2012, that took almost two hours of emergency ops involving Forest Service, Rescue Squad, EMS, and MCSD., led to the death of Monroe County resident Ralph Ray Jr., of Ten Mile. The Forest Service incident commander confirmed that the accident victim had made it to the top ledge, but slipped and fell before he could direct his dive towards a spot away from rocks and boulders.

The MCSD confirmed that Ralph Ray Jr., age 46, Mans Hollow Road, died on the following day-- July 29, 2012 at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Climbing the falls is extremely dangerous, nevertheless, many visitors to the area still do it--and will likely continue to do it despite the recent tragedy. The initial call requested the Rescue Squad to assist a subject which had been trapped under a rock for ten minutes, at Bald River Falls. After getting the still unresponsive victim out from under the rock, a person on scene started CPR in a futile attempt to save the victim's life: it took a while for first responders to arrive on scene from Madisonville, which is a good 30+ mile distance.

To add to the confusion, one of the first responders unknowingly had an 'open mic' on his HT (handie talkie), which kept the radio repeater jammed up for a short time. All in all, it was a great example how well local agencies can work together in an emergency situation.