Colter Bay calamity: 1 dead, 1 hurt

By on June 16, 2013


UPDATE 4:17 pm, Monday, June 17

The heart attack victim has been identified as Harold Jennett, 74, of Troy, Mich. Jennett was taking part in a ranger-led hike of Swan Lake near Colter Bay on Sunday afternoon when he began experiencing symptoms consistent with cardiac arrest. The ranger began immediate CPR and was joined by six other rangers and a Jackson Hole/EMS responder. After nearly an hour of CPR, Jennett was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 3 p.m.

Not long after the Jennett incident, emergency personnel were called out to Colter Bay campgrounds where significant winds associated with a storm knocked down an estimated 100 trees or more. Three or four trees damaged vehicles and one, a 40-footer, toppled and injured a German female tourist. A branch from the tree struck the unidentified 30-year-old, causing life-threatening injuries. She was transported by park ambulance to St. John’s Medical Center and later life-flighted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. Her condition is not known at this time. 

Park authorities were busy last weekend responding to numerous calls for assistance in Grand Teton National Park. On Sunday, a brief thunderstorm blew through the Colter Bay campground, toppling at least one tree and causing serious injury to a female camper in Loop B.

Park spokesperson Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles said he could provide no further details on Sunday night other than to confirm one injury due to an upended tree. Anzelmo-Sarles was also able to confirm a fatality unrelated to the storm. A hiker staying at Colter Bay went into cardiac arrest and, despite received immediate first aid from a park employee, died. Coroner Kiley Campbell confirmed his office received the body of an “elderly hiker” but could not provide more details until Monday.

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