Bryce Canyon Park Ranger Dies In Tragic Freak Accident
Image via NPS

Bryce Canyon Park Ranger Dies In Tragic Freak Accident

It's sad news for one national park team who recently lost one of their own. A Bryce Canyon park ranger recently died in what could only be described as a freak accident.

The ranger was working at Bryce National Park in Utah where he died on Friday. The ranger was helping out with an annual astronomy event when he slipped and fell and sustained fatal injuries. The National Park Service (NPS) confirmed that 78-year-old Park Ranger Tom Lorig has died. Lorig helped guide and navigate visitors to Bryce Canyon's annual Astronomy Festival. At around midnight, Lorig was directing a visitor to a nearby shuttle bus when he slipped and fell.

Unfortunately, Lorig banged his head against a large rock when he fell. The park ranger was unresponsive. The visitor immediately flagged down one of Lorig's fellow rangers to assist him. Several rangers as well as local EMS came to Lorig's aid. Sadly, the ranger slipped away and died before he could make it to a local hospital.

Park Ranger Falls And Dies

"Tom Lorig served Bryce Canyon, the National Park Service, and the public as an interpretive park ranger, forging connections between the world and these special places that he loved," Park Superintendent Jim Ireland said in a statement. "As our community processes and grieves this terrible loss, we extend our deepest condolences to all of Ranger Lorig's family and friends. We also want to express gratitude to the National Park Service and Garfield County emergency services staff who responded as well as to the bystanders who assisted NPS first responders."

Prior to becoming a ranger, he worked for four decades as a a registered nurse in the Seattle. He also became a permanent, seasonal and volunteer park ranger in the area for the past decade. He started working for NPS back in June 1968 at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. During his life, he would work at 13 other national parks including Badlands, Bryce Canyon, El Malpais, Florissant Fossil Beds, Glen Canyon, Klondike Gold Rush, Mount Rainier, New River Gorge, Olympic, Saguaro, Yosemite, Zion and Dinosaur National Monument.

"Tom was a dedicated public servant, and his loss will be felt by the many who knew him across the National Park Service," a post on the Bryce Canyon NPS Facebook page reads.