In Response to the Fatality at Ashby Gap, VA

Date Published: Aug 23, 2018

Statement from Laura Belleville, Vice President of Conservation and Trail Programs for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

“On August 21st, a 71-year old man hiking the Appalachian Trail, one mile north of Ashby Gap, Virginia, was fatally struck by a falling six-inch tree limb. Our sincere condolences go out to the friends and family.

While falling limbs and trees can potentially present a safety hazard to hikers walking on the Trail, the chances of getting struck are extremely low. For backpackers, it is worth noting that care should be exercised when selecting a campsite. 

Hikers should inspect their surroundings by 100 feet and look up for disease and damaged trees or limbs. Trees and limbs are also more susceptible to falling during a windy day, during a flood, heavy snow, or other unusual conditions.

We appreciate the prompt response of the rescuers from Clarke County, and we hope that incidents like this never occur again.”

Media Contact: Javier Folgar 
Appalachian Trail Conservancy 
Tel: 304.885.0481 
Email: [email protected]  

Leave a comment