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Bryce Canyon ranger dies after on-duty accident during annual Astronomy Festival

A ranger at Bryce Canyon National Park has died from injuries sustained after tripping and falling while on-duty. Around 11:30 p.m. on Friday, June 7, Park Ranger Tom Lorig was working with park visitors at Bryce Canyon’s annual Astronomy Festival. While directing a visitor to a shuttle bus, Ranger Lorig fell and struck his head on a large rock. Finding him unresponsive, the visitor quickly notified a nearby law enforcement ranger. National Park rangers, medically trained bystanders, and local EMS personnel cooperated to provide initial lifesaving care, but were unsuccessful in reviving Ranger Lorig. He was 78 years old.



Park Ranger Tom Lorig served the National Park Service at 14 different parks in his decades long career. Photo courtesy of National Park Service.


“Tom 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,” said Park Superintendent Jim Ireland, “As our community processes and grieves this terrible loss, we extend our deepest condolences to all of Ranger Lorig’s family and friends. We also 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.”


Ranger Tom Lorig served for 40 years as a Registered Nurse in the Seattle, Washington, area, and for over 10 years as a permanent, seasonal, and volunteer park ranger. He began his work with the National Park Service at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in June of 1968. In the decades that followed, he would serve at 14 national park sites including Badlands, Bryce Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, El Malpais, Florissant Fossil Beds, Glen Canyon, Klondike Gold Rush, Mount Rainier, New River Gorge, Olympic, Saguaro, Yosemite, Zion and Dinosaur National Monument, of which he was especially fond.



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