Despite brothers’ experience, state park turns deadly
One boy drowns, another rescued at High Falls waterfall.
James and Christian Burdette live less than a mile from High Falls State Park and know the area.
The brothers, who were out of school for fall break this week, said crossing the park’s waterfall was “something they claimed they had done several times before,” Monroe County sheriff ’s Sgt. Lawson Bittick said.
But there are signs at the park warning people to stay off the rocks, signs that are often disregarded, as the Macon Telegraph newspaper reported.
When the brothers walked across the peak of the park’s tallest waterfall Tuesday, it turned into disaster.
After falling about 12 feet, Christian Burdette, 12, drowned, and James, 17, had to be rescued by helicopter, according to Monroe County Emergency Services.
Hikers who originally stopped to record a short video of the boys later heard screams and called 911, the Telegraph reported.
When crews arrived, they saw James standing on a rock in a shallow area.
“It became obvious immediately that this was not going to be an ordinary rescue,” said Matthew Perry with Monroe County Emergency Services, who added that parts of the water were very deep.