National News

NC man falls into Yellowstone hot spring

Posted June 14, 2017 5:06 p.m. EDT

— A North Carolina man was flown to the University of Utah burn center after falling into a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park late Tuesday night.

Gervais Dylan Gatete, 21, was with seven other people in the Lower Geyser Basin north of Old Faithful when he fell, according to a park news release.

The group attempted to transport Gatete, an employee with Xanterra Parks and Resorts, by car for medical treatment. Just before midnight, they flagged down a park ranger near Seven Mile Bridge on the West Entrance Road.

An ambulance was called and Gatete was rushed to the West Yellowstone Airport to be flown to the University of Utah.

Officials spent Wednesday investigating exactly where and how Gatete fell into the hot spring. It's unclear if he and his group were on or off marked trails.

"Yellowstone's thermal features are dangerous," said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk. "We continually stress that people must stay on trails and boardwalks in geyser basins, not only to protect resources, but for their own safety."

This is the first serious injury in a thermal area this year.

Last June, a man left the boardwalk and died after slipping into a hot spring in Norris Geyser Basin.

In August 2000, one person died and two people received severe burns from falling into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin.