Someone Died in a National Park During the Government Shutdown

Pat Wise
January 5, 2019

A visitor to Yosemite National Park has reportedly died after falling into a river on Christmas Day, three days into the partial government shutdown.

Outside Online reporter Wes Siler says the tragedy, which took place on the afternoon of December 25, was confirmed yesterday by the supervisory public affairs officer for the National Park Service, Andrew Muñoz. Muñoz notes that the area was not closed to visitors at the time of the accident. "A news release wasn't issued because of the shutdown". Medical attention was provided, but the visitor died from his injuries, according to Siler's account of his communication with the spokesman.

Yosemite remains open to visitors during the shutdown, and crowds of visitors have been driving into the park to take advantage of free admission.

The National Park Service says Joshua Tree itself will remain accessible, but visitors will be entering at their own risk, because the service can't fully staff its properties.

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Muñoz did not comment on whether a lack of staffing impacted how quickly rangers reached the man who fell.

The man's death was originally reported Friday by Outside Magazine.

"I can only imagine what someone else might be going through right now who needs a service that they can't get", he told CNN.

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