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Teenager from Ava, Mo. dies after fall from Buffalo National River trail

The fall happened near Eden Falls Cave on the Lost Valley Trail.  (Courtesy: Buffalo National...
The fall happened near Eden Falls Cave on the Lost Valley Trail. (Courtesy: Buffalo National River)(KY3)
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 1:50 PM CDT
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PONCA, Ark. – A teenager from Ava, Missouri died from a fall near the Lost Valley Trail at Buffalo National River on Saturday.

The fall happened near Eden Falls Cave on the Lost Valley Trail.

Investigators say the 16-year-old was hiking with a large group from his church when he left the established trail near Eden Falls Cave and scrambled up the steep hillside near the cave entrance. After losing his footing, the teenager fell approximately 20 feet sustaining traumatic head and spinal injuries. Witnesses conducted CPR and rendered first aid until emergency personnel arrived on the scene. Lifesaving efforts by paramedics were unsuccessful.

”The park staff and I extend our deepest condolences to this young man’s family and friends,” said park superintendent Mark Foust. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved and to the communities affected by such a tragedy. We are thankful for those who assisted during the incident, including the first responders, North Arkansas Regional Medical Center ambulance staff, Newton County Sheriff’s Office, Ponca Volunteer Fire Department, Harrison Fire Department, Mennonite Disaster Service, and the BUFFSAR volunteers.”

The terrain in Buffalo National River can be rugged and steep. Off-trail travel is often dangerous.

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