Yellowstone visitor killed by falling tree

An international visitor to Yellowstone National Park died Monday afternoon after he was struck by a falling tree.

The 36-year-old man was from Taiwan, according to a National Park Service news release. He was part of a group hiking the Fairy Falls trail, which is north of the Old Faithful area and west of the Grand Loop Road.

The man left the trail and ascended a nearby tree-covered slope in an apparent attempt to get a better view of Grand Prismatic Spring, when a lodgepole pine tree fell and struck him in the head, the release said.

Visitors who witnessed the incident made their way back to the trailhead, where they encountered two park maintenance employees working in the area, who relayed the information to Yellowstone law enforcement rangers.

The victim was moved by rangers to the trailhead to await helicopter transport to a medical facility. But after attempts to revive him failed, he was declared dead at the scene.

Yellowstone rangers reported windy weather conditions in the area at the time of the incident. They reported that the fallen tree had been a standing, dead lodgepole, fire-killed during the park’s 1988 fires.

The victim’s name was withheld pending notification of family members.

The incident remains under investigation.

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