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Hiker dies in Great Smoky Mountains National Park despite attempts to save him

See the Great Smoky Mountains National Park through the lens of Observer staffer John D. Simmons

From 2002-2009 Simmons documented stories on park flora and fauna including elk, brook trout, black bear and other park denizens.
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From 2002-2009 Simmons documented stories on park flora and fauna including elk, brook trout, black bear and other park denizens.

A 58-year-old man hiking with his brother in Great Smoky Mountains National Park went into cardiac distress and died, despite an hour-long attempt by his brother and park medics and rangers to revive him, officials said Saturday.

Harold Thompson of Knoxville experienced distress about 2 p.m. Friday, 1 1/2 miles from the Greenbrier Ranger Station, according to a park news release. The station is about 7 miles from Gatlinburg.

The brothers were hiking in the Injun Creek area toward Grapeyard Ridge Trail, officials said. The trail reaches an elevation of 2,540 feet and is rated moderately difficult, according to Hiking In The Smokys.com.

“Thompson’s brother, an EMT, administered CPR along with park medics for about an hour,” a park spokeswoman said in the release. Emergency responders also applied an automated external defibrillator.

Thompson was pronounced dead at about 3 p.m. He was taken by Gatlinburg Fire Department emergency responders to LeConte Medical Center in Sevierville, Tenn., according to the release.

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