A Kentucky woman is dead after a fall at the Garden of the Gods.
The Saline County Sheriff’s Office reports the Saline County E-911 received a 911 call at 10:45 a.m.
Saline County deputies, Saline County EMS and Equality Fire Department were initially dispatched to the Garden of the Gods and found a 37 year of old female had fallen about 100 feet, near the Table Rock formation at the Garden of the Gods.
Authorities say the woman was pronounced dead at the scene by the Saline County Coroner Jerry Doug Watson. He says the woman’s name is being withheld at this time pending notification of family members. However, he did confirm the female is from 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. Authorities indicate foul play is not suspected.
The 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 also assisted at the scene.
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, he says let someone know where you are going and what time you should be returning.
The sheriff went in to say the park is a wilderness area and there is wildlife in the area, including snakes, and it takes awhile for first responders to arrive to the park and the even longer to locate someone in the park.
According to the sheriff, the Garden of the Gods area doesn’t have good cellular coverage, so being dependent on a cell phone is not always an option. He says bring a whistle or something that might get some ones attention if
you become lost.
He adds that Saline County 911 does have the ability to receive test messaging for 911, which has been used previously to help lost hikers out of the park.