Saluda fire meets with WRC for Bradley Falls protection measures

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SALUDA – Following the recent death at  Bradley Falls last week, Saluda Fire and Rescue and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) met at the site this week to see what measures can be done to prevent accidents in the future.

Saluda Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Zach Pace sent the WRC a letter last week asking for the agency to place barriers at the popular Bradley Falls following another fatal fall on Sunday, Feb. 12.

Lance Konstants Healy, 47, of Charlotte was hiking with his two daughters at Big Bradley Falls on Feb. 12 when he lost his footing at Lookout Point and fell over 100 feet to his death.

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Healy’s was the eighth fall at Big Bradley since 2007 and he was the seventh person to die from a fall since then.

Pace sent WRC an email last week asking for the state to place barriers at the top of Bradley Falls to avoid future accidents.

Pace met with five WRC officials on Monday, Feb. 20 as well as Polk County Emergency Management Director Bobby Arledge to look at the area.

Pace said WRC officials were very concerned about doing something. The group discussed putting up cables, although there are a couple of areas where that would be difficult. Pace also said more and better signage is probable in the area, particularly at the beginning of the trail warning people of the dangers, and stating that the trails are for experienced hikers only and not for children.

Pace said WRC plans to meet with its legal staff about cables in some areas due to the liability factor in case a cable were to fail and someone fell anyway. Pace said he would like to at least see cables placed at Lookout Point from where the latest victim fell, as well as another point of the falls.

Pace said he plans to follow up with WRC in a couple of days to check on the status of his request.