A Kentucky woman has died, following a fall at the Garden of the Gods, on Wednesday.
Saline County E-911 received a 911 call at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday morning. Saline County Deputies, Saline County EMS and Equality Fire Department were initially dispatched to the Garden of the Gods. A 37 year of age female, fell approximately 100 feet, near the Table Rock formation at the Garden of the Gods. The female was pronounced dead at the scene by the Saline County Coroner.
Saline County Coroner Jerry Doug Watson identified the female, as Melissa A. Riley, 37, of Owensboro, Kentucky. Arrangements are with the Lindsey Funeral Home in Paducah, Kentucky. The incident is still under investigation by the Saline County Coroner’s Office, Saline County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service. Nothing in the incident appears to be suspicious.
Assisting with the call: U.S. Forest Service, Illinois State Police, Air Evac, Equality Fire Department, Saline County EMS, Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hardin County Emergency Management Agency. Garden of the Gods is a wilderness area with several hiking trails and out cropping of rock formations, in Southeast Saline County, about 12 miles southeast of Harrisburg.
Saline County Sheriff Keith Brown reminds visitors to the Garden of the Gods area, that they should wear appropriate shoes and clothing, bring water, and a fully charged cell phone. In addition, let someone know where you are going and what time you should be returning.” “This is a wilderness area and there is wildlife in the area, that includes snakes, it takes awhile for first responders to arrive to the park and the even longer to locate someone in the park,” said Sheriff Brown.
“The Garden of the Gods area doesn’t have good cellular phone coverage, so being dependent on a cell phone is not always an option. Bring a whistle or something that might get some ones attention if you become lost,” continued Sheriff Brown. Saline County 911 does have the ability to receive text messaging for 911, and has used this technology previously to aide lost hikers out of the park as well.