Hiker in GSMNP struck and killed by falling tree due to high winds

Local News

One person is dead after being hit by a falling tree due to high winds in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Thursday.

According to Mike Litterst, Cheif Spokesperson for GSMNP, Laila Jiwani,42, from Texas was in the park hiking with her husband and three children when the tree fell. One of her children who is 6-years-old, was injured and airlifted to UT Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. The accident occurred on Porter Creek Trail. 

According to a post on the Facebook page of Taufiq Jiwani, Laila’s husband, part of a tree fell from the sky and struck Laila and their 6-year-old son. Laila passed away instantly from the impact of the tree. The 6-year-old boy broke his leg in two places and also sustained head injuries. According to the husband’s Facebook post, doctors say Laila saved her son’s life by taking most of the impact. 

A funeral will be held for the mother of three January 2nd in Texas, where the family is from. 

No further details about the accident are available at this time. 

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