On Sunday March 15th, Jason R. Parish, age 36, of Philadelphia, PA, was killed when he sustained a fatal head injury after being struck by a falling tree while hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Parish’s two hiking companions said they began their hike on March 13th from Harpers Ferry, WV. The accident occurred about 6.3 miles north of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, on a steep and rocky section near the Ed Garvey Shelter in Maryland.
Police received a call notifying them of the incident shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday. An off-duty National Park Service ranger, who happened to be nearby at the time of the incident, performed CPR on Parish until emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene about 10 a.m. Ultimately, life-saving efforts were unsuccessful and a Maryland state medical examiner pronounced Parish dead at the scene. Emergency and safety personnel from Boonsboro, Brunswick, Jefferson, Frederick County, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources all provided assistance in the response.
"First and foremost our hearts go out to Mr. Parish's family," Appalachian National Scenic Trail Superintendent Wendy Janssen said. "We appreciate the assistance of not only the off-duty National Park Service ranger who responded immediately, but also the emergency medical personnel from our neighboring communities."