Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials identified a man who died Sept. 25 in the park as Zachary Brown, 26, of Portland, Tennessee.

According to a park statement, Smokies rangers responded to a report of a man in cardiac distress along Laurel Creek Road at 1:50 p.m. Sept. 25 near Crib Gap, which is between Townsend, Tennessee, and Cades Cove.

Brown was standing along the roadside with his family when he experienced a “cardiac event,” according to the statement.

Rangers performed CPR until emergency responders with American Medical Response arrived and transported Brown to Blount Memorial Hospital, where he later died.  

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The Great Smokies is the most-visited national park with 12.5 million visitors in 2019. The park covers a half-million acres of rugged, mountainous, forested terrain in eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina.

There have been at least 10 fatalities in the park so far this year, according to park spokeswoman Dana Soehn.

Karen Chávez is an award-winning outdoors and environment reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times and USA TODAY Network. She is the author of “Best Hikes with Dogs: North Carolina,” and is a former National Park Service ranger.

Reach me[email protected] or on Twitter @KarenChavezACT

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