Falling tree kills 64-year-old man walking on trail in North Carolina park, police say

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A 64-year-old hiker died after a tree fell and hit him on a North Carolina trail, officials said.

The man was rushed to a hospital after he was found unconscious Tuesday morning at Bur-Mil Park in Greensboro, according to the city’s police department.

The hiker — identified as Howard Huey Shepherd — was later pronounced dead, police spokesperson Ronald Glenn told McClatchy News in an email.

Shepherd was struck when a tree toppled near Big Loop Trail, a walking and biking path that stretches about 2 miles.

“A preliminary site review reveals that the tree was 50 yards away from the trail when it fell,” Guilford County said Wednesday in a news release.

Big Loop Trail closed Tuesday and was expected to reopen before the weekend. Bur-Mil Park officials shared their condolences in written statements.

“There are simply no words to share our sorrow,” said Todd Moore, park supervisor. “My team and I were devastated when we learned. It was truly an unexpected and unthinkable incident.”

Bur-Mil Park spans 250 acres and is northwest of downtown Greensboro, near Lake Brandt. Guilford County said it takes precautions to minimize risks at the recreation area.

“We take park safety very seriously,” Dwight Godwin, interim parks director, said in a news release. “Although Tuesday’s incident was unforeseeable, we work very hard to take preventative measures for community safety at all of our facilities.”