Boy dies, brother rescued after accident at Georgia park

A 12-year-old boy died and his older brother was rescued after plummeting 20feet over a Georgia waterfall.

The boys, identified as Christian Burdette, 12, and James Burdette, 17, were swept over the waterfall in High Falls State Park in Jackson. 

James was airlifted from a rock after more than two hours, according to Matthew Perry, Monore County Emergency Management Agency director. 

‘It was pretty obvious that Christian was deceased,’ Perry said. Rescuers then focused their attentions on James.




 The park, where the Towaliga River crashes over several waterfalls, is a popular fishing and camping location.



Christian was killed, the Monroe County Emergency Management Agency told NBC News. James was airlifted from a rock after more than two hours, Matthew Perry, the agency’s director, told reporters at the scene.

‘It was pretty obvious that Christian was deceased,’ Perry said, so rescuers focused their attentions on James.

A firefighter made his way to a spot about 50 feet from James and stayed with him the entire time while the rescue was organized, Perry said.

The rescue took so long because swift currents made it difficult to reach the boy.

‘There are no second chances in this,’ Perry said. ‘This kind of thing that kills firefighters, and if you get ahead of yourself, we’re then having to rescue the rescuer, and that’s not something we like to do.’


Monroe County Emergency Management Director Matthew Perry says the 911 call came in about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday that the two boys had been swept over the falls and plummeted about 20 feet.

WXIA-TV reports crews responding to High Falls State Park saw the older boy, James Burdette, alert in a shallow area on a rock. Perry says the teenager’s younger brother, Christian Burdette, had died.

Perry says a crew from Kennesaw, Georgia, rescued the older boy by air. He was treated at an area hospital and released. 

Perry says apparently the boys had strayed from the park’s hiking trails before their fall.

The 1,050-acre (424 hectares) park northwest of Macon is known as one of the state’s top fishing spots.

Information from: WXIA-TV,

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