UK student found dead in the Red River Gorge identified
SLADE, Ky. (WKYT) - A University of Kentucky student has died following a hiking incident in the Red River Gorge.
Powell County Search and Rescue says 24-year-old Gabriella Smith, a second-year medical student from Alexandria, Ky. went hiking in the Auxier Ridge area on Monday. When she didn’t return home, search teams were contacted.
Smith’s body was found at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff.
Over the past week Lisa Johnson, with the Powell County Search and Rescue, says they’ve conducted three rescues of hikers falling in the gorge.
After several days of on and off heavy rainfall in the gorge, the Powell County Search and Rescue team wants all hikers to take extra precautions as all of these trails can be extremely dangerous in wet and even damp conditions.
Johnson says, while their team will always answer any call to help hikers, wet conditions make it difficult for rescuers to reach stranded and lost hikers.
Johnson wants people to be cautious anytime they hit the trails.
“You have trees that are coming down right now, limbs that are falling, the mud you slide in the mud on the trails and if you’re on the rocks, you’re going to slide, you’re going to slip and what I try to tell people is stay away from the edge,” Johnson said.
Even in dry and perfect hiking conditions, Johnson wants all hikers, new or more experienced, to always be prepared and know your trail before you hit the gorge.
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