Hiking Deaths Spike Across States as Summer Approaches: Officials Issue Urgent Safety Reminder

Chattanooga, Tennessee – With the arrival of summer, state officials have issued warnings following a series of hiking-related deaths across the country. From Zion National Park in Utah to the Appalachian Trail in New Jersey, hikers of all ages and abilities have tragically lost their lives in recent weeks.

In Tennessee, two close friends, identified as Greffania Merilus, 23, and Gulson Elve, 20, drowned while hiking on Rainbow Falls Trail. Merilus fell into a fast-moving creek, prompting Elve to dive in to rescue her. Despite efforts from first responders, both individuals sadly perished in the accident.

In Georgia, a 19-year-old man named Exauce T. Kabeya tragically drowned while hiking in Tallulah Gorge. Kabeya slipped into the river above Oceana Falls and did not resurface. A search operation involving multiple agencies eventually recovered his body several hours later.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a 61-year-old hiker named Raghu Kodali was found dead on a section of the Appalachian Trail. A large-scale search effort spanning 16 hours ended with responders locating his body near the Carbon County line in Northampton County. The cause of death is currently under investigation.

Additionally, a recent incident in Utah’s Zion National Park involved a massive search operation for a missing hiker, culminating in the discovery of the individual at Scout Lookout. Despite medical treatment, including CPR, the hiker was pronounced dead by a doctor after efforts to revive him proved unsuccessful.

These tragic events serve as stark reminders of the inherent risks associated with outdoor activities, prompting state officials to emphasize the importance of safety precautions while exploring nature. As summer approaches and more individuals venture into the wilderness, it is crucial for hikers to prioritize their well-being and be vigilant in unfamiliar environments.