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Smokies officials identify visitors injured by fallen tree

1:40 PM, Jul 11, 2013   |    comments
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Update 12:43 p.m.

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - Three Kentucky visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were hurt when a tree fell.

According to park officials, rangers were called around 4 p.m. EDT Wednesday and told people touring Cades Cove had been injured.

Rangers found 41-year-old Michelle Tilley of Shelby Gap, Ky., was initially knocked unconscious when the tree fell at the Missionary Baptist Church.

Rangers said Tilley was holding her 1-year-old daughter at the time. The infant and Tilley's 7-year-old nephew were less seriously injured.

The children were released after treatment at University of Tennessee Hospital in Knoxville, where Tilley was admitted.

No information about her medical condition was immediately available Thursday.

Rangers are still investigating weather conditions in Cades Cove at the time the tree fell.

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(WBIR-Great Smoky Mountains National Park) Three people are reported injured after a tree fell on them in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

According to park officials, a 41-year-old woman was knocked unconcious when the tree fell near the Missionary Baptist Church.  Her 1-year-old daughter and 7-year-old nephew were also injured.  The accident was reported around 4:00 pm, about the time a storm was moving through the area.

Officials did not have any information on the extent of their injuries, or where they were from.

Due to the weather, flying the patients out by helicopter was not an option. Blount County Rural/Metro transported the victims to UT Medical Center by ambulance.

Rangers are investigating the accident.  They are looking for witnesses to get detailed statements of what occurred when the tree fell.

Missionary Baptist Church is located approximately 4 miles around the 11-mile one way Cades Cove Loop Road. Park staff and volunteers provided traffic control on the road during the incident.




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