Accident report Mississippi Palisades SPAccident report: Mississippi Palisades State Park
This information was obtained from climbers who were on site at the accident. We were at the park and heard and saw the rescue, but did not go near the site during the rescue.
On May 24, 2008 at around 6 pm a young man and his two companions were on top of the cliffs when one man tryed to jump from the top of the cliff to a tree to get down. The man then fell to the bottom sustaining several severe injuries to his head and body. One of his friends shouted for someone to call 911 then he and the other companion fled the area before rescue staff arived. One of the first persons on the scene a climber named Tom (last name unknown) reached the victim and found him unconcious and convulsing. His wife (?) called 911 and reported the accident and gave the location to the paramedics. The climbers on the scene began doing what the could for the victim as well as guiding the paramedics to the accident location.
I spoke with Tom on Sunday and he relayed to me the scene and also some additional information surrounding the incident. The victim and his companions were camped in the state park at a site across from Tom and his group. The group was drinking alcohol and being generally loud and unruley. Park rangers, alerted to their behavior, went to their camp site and confiscated their alcohol. Later that night the victim was heard yelling that he was going to "go climb sentinal". I belive Tom spoke with the victim at this time and got the man to calm down for the time. The next day, Tom and his group were in the vicinity of the victim. Tom told me that " it seemed like the one guy knew what he was doing, he had some gear and rope, but the other two didn't" and "they were all drunk again".
I also spoke with Ed, a local climber who has been climbing in the area for ten years. He stated his concerns over the incident and its potential impact on climbing access. He has seen the climbing areas shrink over time because of sensitive animal and plant species.
Please be aware of these closures and respect them. The rangers do not need another reason to close more areas to climbers.
Additional notes: I used quotes to describe what Tom told me but I am paraphrasing. I did not interview Tom, it was a casual conversation at the top of the cliff. Also, I use the term "Victim" to describe the man who fell because it is the standard language.