Beloved National Park Ranger Tom Lorig Dies in Tragic Fall at Bryce Canyon Festival

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Written By Lori Walker

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A beloved National Park Service ranger died after he tripped, fell, and hit his head on a rock during an annual astronomy festival in southwestern Utah, park officials said over the weekend.

Tom Lorig was 78 years old when he died after the incident at Bryce Canyon National Park late Friday.

He was well-known for his extensive work as a ranger and volunteer at 14 National Park Service sites, including Yosemite National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and Dinosaur National Monument, the park service said in a statement Saturday.

“Tom Lorig served Bryce Canyon, the National Park Service, and the public as an interpretive park ranger, creating connections between the world and these special places that he loved,” Bryce Canyon Superintendent Jim Ireland said in the statement.

In a separate statement on Facebook, the park said, “Tom was a dedicated public servant, and his loss will be felt by the many who knew him across the National Park Service.”

Lorig was directing a Bryce Canyon visitor to a shuttle bus around 11:30 p.m. — the last shuttle was scheduled to leave the festival at 12:15 a.m. — when he tripped, fell, and hit the rock, the park service said.

A park visitor saw that he was unconscious and called for help, it said.

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