Park: Fatal, falling tree piece wasn’t ‘natural occurrence’

September 4, 2019 GMT

LOGAN, Ohio (AP) — Investigators say they found evidence a falling piece of tree that killed a woman at an Ohio state park wasn’t “a natural occurrence.”

They’re investigating whether someone from above dislodged the piece that struck 44-year-old Victoria Schafer on stairs near Old Man’s Cave at Hocking Hills State Park.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources hasn’t disclosed what evidence indicates the tree piece didn’t fall naturally. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office are helping with the investigation.

The Chillicothe (chihl-ih-KAHTH’-ee) woman died at the scene Monday.


It’s the third death at the park this summer. The body of a 55-year-old woman was recovered from Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve in June. A 22-year-old hiker died after falling from a cliff in August.