At 1:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers responded to a Chimney Tops overlook along Newfound Gap Road after receiving a report that a man fell approximately 50 feet below the embankment. Wesley Brandon Stedham, 48, of Warrior, Ala. fell after stepping down a steep slope below the overlook for a photograph. Stedham suffered severe head trauma and passed away as a result of these injuries.
Park rangers and members of the park’s technical Search and Rescue team established a rope and pulley system to reach the patient and bring him up to the overlook. No additional details are available at this time.
– National Park Service release