The National Park Service said an Illinois man is believed to have drowned in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park after falling into a natural wonder known as “Midnight Hole.”


Load Error

The park service identified the man as Yogesh Patel, 25, of Oak Forest, Illinois.

Sign up for our Newsletters

Click the video player above for headlines from WXII 12 News.

Patel fell into the water at “Midnight Hole” at about 7:30 p.m. Monday and was observed struggling, officials said.

The spot is on the North Carolina side of the national park. News outlets reported that his body was recovered by rescue divers Tuesday.

An official cause of death has not been released.

“Bystanders attempted to pull Patel from the water, but were not successful,” the park service said in a news release.

Park spokeswoman Jamie Sanders told The Asheville Citizen-Times that Midnight Hole is actually a small waterfall and local swimming area.

“Mr. Patel was walking along a log that extended into the swimming hole when he slipped off the log and into the water. The log was located at the edge of the shore below the waterfalls,” Sanders said. “His family was with him at the time.”

READ THE FULL STORY:Visitor drowns in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

CHECK OUT WXII:Get the latest Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem news of the day. Catch the top stories, sports and weather from the team at WXII12.

Continue Reading