Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bad day to be in Yellowstone National Park

Careful out there people.

A German tourist died at a Billings hospital Monday after suffering a head injury when he was thrown from a horse near Tower Junction in Yellowstone National Park.

Two other park visitors were seriously injured Monday in unrelated accidents.

Carl Dullmaier, 56, of Gernsheim, Germany, was helicoptered to Billings after the fall. He was on a guided horseback ride near Yancey’s Hole when the accident occurred.

“The word we got was that the horses were spooked, possibly by some birds,” said Dan Hottle, park public affairs officer.

A 10-year-old boy on the same outing was also thrown and was taken to the park clinic in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo., before continuing on to Livingston for further care, Hottle said.

He did not know if Dullmaier was alone or with family at the time of the accident. Rangers had to carry him to a helicopter landing area so he could be flown to Billings. Dullmaier was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m., Hottle said.

Yellowstone rangers also responded to help two other injured tourists on Monday.

A 37-year-old man from Provo, Utah, suffered thermal burns on the Solitary Geyser Trail in the Upper  Geyser Basin. He was transported by ambulance to West Yellowstone and from there by airplane to the Salt Lake City burn center.

A 65-year-old British national from Bangkok, Thailand, was thrown into the air by a bull bison at Mammoth Hot Springs. He was transported to Memorial Hospital in Livingston.

July is typically the busiest month of the year in Yellowstone. Yellowstone officials respond to an average of 700 emergency medical calls each year.
Visitors are reminded when they enter the park and by signs throughout to stay on boardwalks and designated trails while viewing thermal features that are near or above boiling. They are also constantly reminded to stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards away from all other animals, including elk and bison.