Richmond Girl Dies After Falling on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Augusta Co., VA - A 13-year-old Richmond girl is dead after falling roughly 45 feet on the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Nelson-Augusta County line.
The District Ranger says she was picnicking with her family Sunday evening near the Humpback Rocks Picnic Area when she slipped and fell.
Just past mile post nine, yellow tape marks the tragic memorial.
"At some point, the 13-year-old female had lost her footing and fell probably about 45 feet onto the parkway," the District Ranger said from the base of the cliff.
Kurt Speers says her family went to the Humpback Rocks Picnic Area to watch one of its famous sunsets.
He says while the adults were taking pictures, the 13 year-old victim and an 11-year-old boy climbed over a rock divider and ended up dangerously close to the edge.
"We have statements from at least two eyewitnesses who said they saw the two juveniles climbing near the top of the cliff when the accident occurred," Speers added.
The Chief of Wintergreen Fire and Rescue was driving home when he heard the call come over the radio. His crews were the first to arrive on the scene.
"They arrived to find the patient in the roadway with serious trauma," said Curtis Sheets.
The teenager was flown to UVA's medical center, but was pronounced dead from the impact.
In the next few days, investigators will work to answer a few remaining questions regarding the exact sequence of events, in hopes this kind of memorial won't be needed again.
"Everyone thinks about their own kids or nieces and nephews. But you just have to focus," added Sheets.
This is the third death on this stretch of highway in last five years.
Kurt Speers says all three are unrelated though.
One was a murder, one a rock climbing accident, and now a fatal fall.