Hanover man found dead in Smoky Mountains park

Staff and wire reports

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — A York County man has been identified as one of two people who died recently in separate incidents at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.


The National Park Service said 56-year-old James Baker, of Hanover, was found dead in Abrams Creek on Saturday. His cause of death won’t be released until a medical examiner’s report is complete.

Knoxville, Tennessee, CBS affiliate WVLT reported that investigators received a report of a possible drowning from a fisherman who found a body in the creek about noon Saturday.

Local NBC affiliate WBIR reported that national park rangers found Baker's body about 1 1/2 miles from the Abrams Falls Trailhead. The recovery took several hours and required the park's technical rescue team because of steep terrain, according to local reports.

The Abrams Falls trail is known as one of the most dangerous hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is notorious for its drowning and hypothermia hazards, WBIR reports. In 2008, the trail was listed as one of the 10 most dangerous hikes in America by Backpacker Magazine, which cited dozens of deaths along the trail since 1971.

In the second fatal incident, a man who fell to his death from the top of the highest waterfall in the park was been identified as 37-year-old Michal Bojko. Officials said Bojko, who had lived in Sevier County, Tennessee, for the past several years and was originally from the Czech Republic, fell from the top of the 100-foot-tall Ramsey Cascades on May 28. The national park is partially in Sevier County.