Fatal fall part of a series of incidents in Pope County - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Fatal fall part of a series of incidents in Pope County

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POPE COUNTY-- So far this year there have been 4 major falls in southern Illinois parks with 3 of them fatal.

At Burden Falls in Pope County, there have been five separate incidents this week alone. The incident Thursday was a fatal fall.

"It's been a nightmare. It really has," said Pope County Sheriff Jerry Suits.

Thursday afternoon, a 55-year-old woman fell from one of the cliffs at Burden Falls and died.

While falls are common calls into the Pope County Sheriff's office, this one was one Sheriff Suits said he wasn't prepared for.

"The ambulance service was requesting the coroner," he said, "You hear that and you know it's a tragedy and we're right in the middle of it."

It was part of a series of incidents that began Sunday with someone getting lost and another person getting lost on Monday.

"The third day had someone fall and break and ankle," Suits said, "Fourth day someone fell and broke a leg. Then yesterday… it just keeps getting worse and worse."

He said when emergencies happen, his department is quick to jump into action.

"Burton Falls, Jackson Falls, wherever. We're coming. We're all they got," he said.

Sheriff Suits reminds people that while hike may be fun, it can also be dangerous. He said people should always travel in groups of two or more, always carry a well-charged cell phone and tell people where you're at before you go on the trail. 

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