Injured hiker at Signal Point recovering; Could face fine - WSMV Channel 4

Injured hiker at Signal Point recovering; Could face fine

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SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TN (WRCB) -

Sheila Buster made the long haul from Anderson, Indiana to Signal Mountain to take in sights and meet with her sisters.

The group gathers at Signal Point Park which is closed due to the government shutdown, but Monday afternoon the gate was wide open.

Kathy Galbreath drove from Indiana and says, "I just think that is a shame and I think all parks need to be open so people can enjoy nature and learn new things."

The park was "temporarily" open after last weekend when rescue crews cut the locks.

We are told a man took a chance and went hiking despite the park being closed.

The gamble almost cost him his life after he fell several feet and had to be rescued.

Amy Maxwell with Hamilton County EMS says, "Thirty feet is a long way to fall. He did sustain a critical head injury."

The shutdown is now in week two and already some fear lawmakers may let it linger until either side can come to an effective agreement.

Barbara Burdette from Florida says, "I hope it doesn't go on much longer but I have a feeling they will drag it out. I don't think it is one party's fault. It's both."

Burdette says she didn't blame the young hiker for taking a chance.

Where she is from exploring the mountains really isn't an option.

"What can you say? It is on you. You come you enjoy on your own. What else can you say," says Burdette.

What can be said is following the rules, could save you a trip to the hospital and potential fines.

Maxwell says, "We just ask the general public to respect the rules and regulations of the government until this shutdown is over"

The hiker is expected to make a full recovery after the fall.

We are told he was wearing his helmet.

Park officials say anyone caught at any shutdown park could be fined up to $500 and face up to six months in jail.

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