Archived Outdoors

Man dies following fall from Smokies overlook

Crews respond to the Chimney Tops overlook. NPS photo Crews respond to the Chimney Tops overlook. NPS photo

An Alabama man is dead following a fall from an overlook in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Wesley Brandon Stedham, 48, of Warrior, Alabama, fell about 50 feet on Tuesday, Nov. 24, after stepping down a steep slope below the Chimney Tops overlook along Newfound Gap Road for a photograph. 

Rangers responded to a call at 1:40 p.m. that day and together with members of the park’s technical Search and Rescue team established a rope and pulley system to reach Stedham and bring him up from the overlook. However, Stedham had suffered severe head trauma and passed away as a result of those injuries. 

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