UPDATE: A news release from the Signal Mountain Police Department identifies the victim as being Harvey Cagle, 50, of Signal Mountain.
The investigation is still underway, and additional information to come from the Hamilton County Medical Examiner's office.
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TN (WRCB) -- Rescue crews from Signal Mountain, Waldens Ridge, Red Bank, Chattanooga, and Hamilton County rushed to the back side of Alexian Village Wednesday afternoon, on reports that a man had fallen at Rainbow Falls. A friend hiking with him had made the call.
It took about half an hour for the 8 teams of 2 rescuers to carefully navigate their way to the scene and the victim. Amy Maxwell of Hamilton County Emergency Services explained. "The problem is, the terrain is very rough," she said. "Washed out trails, there's no trails for ATVs to come in and out of, so everything has to be done on foot."
Crews found the man alive, but he had been in the cold water for at least an hour. Due to the severity of his injuries, he was pronounced dead before rescuers could get him back up to a waiting ambulance. "There'll be an investigation as to where exactly he fell," Maxwell added. "Some are saying he fell 40', some say he fell 100', but 40' - 100', it's still at least 4 stories. It's considered a very high fall."
Family members hugged, wept, and tried to console each other as recovery efforts raced the setting sun and dropping temperatures. They continued on past 8pm. "I don't know if they were experienced hikers and I don't know the name of the individual," said Maxwell. "I do know that he was a 50-year old male from the Signal Mountain area."
Signal Mountain Police Chief Boyd Veal will release the name of the victim and more details about the accident at a press conference planned for Thursday morning.
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TN. (WRCB) --A 50-year-old man has died after falling near Rainbow Falls on Signal Mountain.
Rescue crews with Hamilton County EMS are on the scene of a high fall on Signal Mountain Wednesday.
It happened shortly after 4:00 p.m. Rescue officials say a man fell near Rainbow Falls Trails.
Officials say the trails are washed out, which made it difficult to reach the man.
At one point, 16 rescuers were working to extricate the man.
Signal Mountain police say a press conference will be held Thursday morning, where more information will be released, including the victim's name.
Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates as they become available.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:04 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:04:55 GMT
At least 120 people were injured in what President Barack Obama called "one of the most destructive tornadoes in history."More >>
At least 120 people were injured in what President Barack Obama called "one of the most destructive tornadoes in history." Channel 3 has a news crew embedded with the local Red Cross on its way to the disaster zone. More >>