Man dies after 50-foot fall in North Carolina state park

Published 4:34 pm Monday, November 30, 2020

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A North Carolina man died Sunday after falling nearly 50 feet in a popular section of Hanging Rock State Park, state officials said.

The North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation says William Michael Smith, 39, of Lawsonville, was in a well-traveled area of Hanging Rock on Sunday, but he was in an area not designated for climbing and he was not dressed for climbing, news outlets report.

Officials said Smith fell 40 to 50 feet, and was found dead when rescue personnel reached the scene. According to witnesses, Smith had been at the park alone and had spoken with others before he fell, according to officials.

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In 2017, a 17-year-old died a month after falling off a cliff in the park, and teenagers were also injured after falls at the park in 2018 and this year, news outlets reported.