Elderly Virginia woman takes fatal fall from parkway overlook

The National Park Service respond to an incident at the East Fork Overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway on Friday. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

An elderly woman fell to her death Friday morning at an overlook in Haywood County in Pisgah National Forest.

Parkway officials said 83-year-old Nancy Ann Martin, of Richmond, Virginia, fell over the edge of the East Fork Overlook. Haywood emergency officials said she got over a wall and fell about 150 feet down a steep rock face.

Parkway officials said Martin's companion called 911. Her body was recovered just after 1 p.m. in a collaborative effort between Haywood County Emergency Services, the Cruso Fire Department, Haywood County Search and Rescue, the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office and the National Park Service.

With more visitors coming to enjoy the mountains of Western North Carolina, Haywood County Emergency Management Director Greg Shuping is reminding people to be vigilant and follow safety advice.

“What we ask folks is to stay on the paved parkways, the overlooks, as well as on the trails that are named trails, that have signage,” Shuping said.

Visitors are heeding the advice, especially after this tragedy.

“Listen to what it says and don't go over the walls. I mean, it might look tempting to do that. But you could end up paying for it,” said Lily Michalicek, who was visiting from Minnesota.

The incident remains under investigation.

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