A 19-year-old soldier fell to his death at Jones-Keeney Wildlife Management Area Tuesday, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife reported.
Authorities identified the man as Brayden Sorrick of Fresno, Calif. He was stationed at Fort Campbell as a member of the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army.
Initial reports indicated Sorrick was at the area to hike and lost his footing while taking photos from the bluff at 70 feet when he fell to his death. The investigation is ongoing.
Sorrick was not alone — witnesses were present with Sorrick when first responders arrived, authorities said.
Fish and Wildlife received a service call at 5:29 p.m.
Jones-Keeney WMA is located in Caldwell County. It is named after Dr. Joe W. Jones and Dr. B.L. Keeney, who were members of the Game and Fish Commission during the 1920s and 1930s. Jones-Keeney WMA is state property.
Joey McCaslin, Caldwell County emergency manager, was also on the scene and said, “My job was to request assistance from other agencies and try to get the helicopter landing zone set up.”
McClasin was referring to an air evacuation unit operating out of Paducah. McClasin said the Hopkinsville and Marion air evacuation units, which are much closer, were not available.
McClasin said, “People go out there all the time — you just got to be real careful.”
McClasin said Caldwell County EMS, Caldwell Coroner’s Office, and Caldwell County Sheriff’s office were also at the scene.
“We were there for a support role,” Caldwell County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Chris Noel said.
Princeton Fire Chief Brent Francis addressed the media Wednesday. “You’re not going to get too close to those edges without running a terrible risk of slipping and falling.”
Francis advised no one should climb down, but instead walk down the trail to get a better view of the waterfall, which is popular for photos. Francis said the slopes are hazardous and unpredictable.