Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers responded to a fatal motorcycle accident on the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley, near mile marker 24, at approximately 11:35 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28. David Wayne Birdsong, age 57, of Fairview, Tenn., lost control of the motorcycle and veered off the roadway into a drainage ditch. Birdsong died as a result of his injuries. No other vehicles were involved in the accident. Speed is believed to be a contributing factor in the accident.
Blount County Sheriff’s Office and American Medical Response (AMR) emergency responders arrived on scene first and performed CPR. Park rangers assisted with CPR and patient care before he was transported to Blount Memorial by AMR. Birdsong was pronounced dead while in transport to the hospital.
More than 40 percent of fatalities in the park are the result of motor vehicle accidents. Of these fatalities, one in five is the result of a motorcycle accident. Speed, inattention, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are often contributing factors in accidents. Four people have died this year in motorcycle accidents in the park, including an accident on Clingmans Dome Road and a two-passenger accident on the Foothills Parkway.
For more information on driving safety along the park’s mountainous roads, please visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/trafficandtraveltips.htm.
– National Park Service release