Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers responded to a report of man in cardiac distress near the Deep Creek Campground and Picnic Area at approximately 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22. Kirk Lazar, age 70, of Evans, Ga. was hiking with his wife on the Juney Whank Falls Trail when he collapsed approximately 100 yards from the trailhead. Bystanders immediately started CPR until Swain County EMS arrived and took over rescue efforts. Emergency responders were unable to revive Mr. Lazar and he passed away at the site of his collapse at approximately 4:45 p.m.
Park Rangers, Swain County EMS, and Swain County Sheriff Deputies responded to the scene. No additional details are available at this time.
– National Park Service release