78-Year-Old Park Ranger Working at Festival Dead After Tripping, Hitting Head on 'Large Rock'

Tom Lorig served at 14 national parks and previously worked as a registered nurse for 40 years, according to the National Park Service

<p>Bryce Canyon National Park/Facebook</p> Tom Lorig

Bryce Canyon National Park/Facebook

Tom Lorig

A 78-year-old park ranger died last week after he tripped and hit his head on a rock while working at a festival in Utah.

Tom Lorig was working at Bryce Canyon’s annual Astronomy Festival on Friday, June 7, when he fell and struck his head on the "large rock" while directing a visitor to a shuttle bus around 11:30 a.m. local time, according to the National Park Service (NPS).

After being found unresponsive, a visitor notified a nearby law enforcement ranger of Lorig’s condition, per NPS. Authorities provided initial life-saving care but were unsuccessful in reviving Lorig.

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In a statement shared by NPS, Superintendent Jim Ireland said that Lorig "served Bryce Canyon, the National Park Service, and the public as an interpretive park ranger, forging connections between the world and these special places that he loved.”

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“As our community processes and grieves this terrible loss, we extend our deepest condolences to all of Ranger Lorig’s family and friends,” his statement continued.

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In his statement, Ireland also thanked those who were on hand to assist Lorig after he fell. “We also want to express gratitude to the National Park Service and Garfield County emergency services staff who responded, as well as to the bystanders who assisted NPS first responders.”

After his 40-year career as a registered nurse, Lorig embarked on his journey as a National Park Ranger in 1968, according to the agency. His decades of service included working at 14 national parks.

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