June 24, 2011
Rangers with the Blue Ridge Parkway are interested in hearing from anyone who may have been in the area of the fatal fall at the Ravens Roost Overlook on June 15.
They are asking to speak with anyone who may have been at the Ravens Roost Overlook, on the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway (mile post 10 and 11) on Wednesday, June 15, between the hours of 11am and 2pm.
If you were in the area during those times, call the Blue Ridge Parkway Dispatch Office at 828-298-2491.
More Information on Ravens Roost
This is the second fall at Ravens Roost in the last few years. In 2008, a 41-year-old Waynesboro man who fell 60 feet while top-roping there on Labor Day. He survived the fall but endured multiple surgeries and months of rehab.
Ravens Roost is a popular spot for local climbers and tourists due to its proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is one of the closest 100 foot cliffs to Charlottesville.
While some climbers have voiced complaints about Ravens Roost, most say a fall like the one which occurred Wednesday is uncommon.
Around that time on Wednesday, a hiker from Alabama fell 100 feet to his death while rock climbing in the area. Friends have called the tragedy a "freak accident."
June 15, 2011
A hiker from Alabama fell 100 feet to his death while rock climbing Wednesday afternoon at the Ravens Roost overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Augusta County.
Friends called the tragedy a "freak accident". They say a piece of webbing attached to a tree broke, causing 20-year-old Jonathan Sullivan to fall from the rocks just before 3pm. This was not the first rock climbing expedition for the group and friends tell CBS19 all the gear and equipment was checked before heading to the overlook.
Sullivan, who attended Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa and was planning to transfer to the University of Alabama in the fall, was visiting Central Virginia to help a friend move. It was only his second trip to the Commonwealth.
Augusta County Fire Chief Carson Holloway says firefighters and National Park Service personnel are on the scene in "recovery mode". Nelson County Life reports Wintergreen Fire and Rescue crews rappelled 150 feet to recover Sullivan's body.
Ravens Roost is at Milepost 10 on the Parkway, not far from the Humpback Rocks area. It is considered one of the most scenic overlooks along the length of the Parkway, offering views of Torrey Ridge and the Shenandoah Valley.
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