Submitted by Nancy Gray, National Park Service
Great Smoky Mountain National Park officials were notified on Tuesday, Dec. 22 that Cindy Hill, 45, of Columbia, Md., died of injuries sustained while day hiking in the Greenbrier area of the Park. The victim was pronounced dead shortly after 10 p.m. at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, Tenn.
At about 11:45 a.m. Monday, the Park received a 911 alert of the accident. The incident occurred when Cindy Hill and her husband, Ron, were hiking along the Greenbrier Road which was temporarily closed due to snow. They walked approximately 3 miles from the ranger station when they stopped to take a photograph on some rocks along a stream. Mrs. Hill lost her footing on a rock and slipped into swift moving water. Her husband grabbed her, but she slipped away from his grasp. Mr. Hill was able to reach her again about 20 yards downstream. He pulled her to the shoreline where he initiated CPR, but she was unresponsive. While running back towards the ranger station to get help, Mr. Hill encountered another visitor who called 911.
Park Rangers and Gatlinburg Fire and EMS responded to the emergency and arrived at the scene simultaneously. Paramedics began advanced life support, but she remained unresponsive. She was transported by Gatlinburg ambulance to Fort Sanders Sevier Medical Center where emergency personnel were able to establish a pulse. She was then subsequently transported by air to Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center for additional treatment, but attempts to revive her were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead.