Alabama man falls to death after taking photo off slope in national park


An Alabama man plummeted to his death as he tried to take a photo in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee on Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

Wesley Brandon Stedham, 48, of Warrior, fell 50 feet from the park’s Chimney Tops Overlook,  WBRC reported.

Stedham was at the park with his family, and tried to climb down a steep, dirt embankment below the overlook in order to get a better photo, officials said.

Losing his footing, he suffered fatal head trauma in the fall. Park officials said it was the first time a visitor to the park had died as a result of trying to take a photograph.

The park runs along the Tennesee-North Carolina border.

Friends described Stedham as a friendly soul who loved high school football and calling games at Hayden High School.

“I still don’t want to accept it,” friend Robert Bradford told WBMA.

“I still want to not believe it. Still want to think my phone is going to ring. You just don’t think something like that is going to happen to somebody so full of life like Brandon was.”

Hayden High School football coach Keith Register said Stedham helped spread the word about the team everywhere he went.

“The loss of that voice on a Friday night is going to be a big-time difference,” Register told the outlet.

“He means a lot to this football program and the things he did for the football program.”

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