By Thomas Smith Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
ROARING RIVER -- A Mount Airy man fell to his death at Stone Mountain Park Saturday while climbing across a waterfall.
A representative from the North Carolina Parks Service said Jimmy Shane Wilkinson, 28, of Mount Airy, died after he attempted to cross Stone Mountain Falls.
According to information obtained from an email to the Parks Service from Stone Mountain Head Ranger Ed Farr, the emergency call came in around 2:30 p.m. Saturday from the cell phone of a visitor inside the park. When Rangers and Wilkes County Emergency personnel arrived at the base of the falls, visitors had already begun CPR on Wilkinson.
Wilkes Rescue Squad began treatment as well but were unable to revive him.
Wilkinson's brother, who witnessed the fall, told Farr that once the group, including two other family members, reached the area of the falls, Wilkinson and a nephew began to climb up the right hand side of the falls.
The nephew came back down, but Wilkinson continued to climb and apparently tried the cross the falls laterally and fell at that point.
The family and other witnesses began CPR, as the brother, who was unnamed, ran back to the trail head for help.
The Wilkes County Medical Examiner will determine a cause of death.
The spokesman for the Parks Service said the investigation is still ongoing which he called, "standard procedure, particularly in a fall of this type."
According to the spokesman, the last fatality reported at Stone Mountain Park was prior to 1983.