Tragic Drowning Occurs Near Oconaluftee Visitor Center

At approximately 5:20 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Rangers responded to a drowning in progress on the Oconaluftee River behind the Mountain Farm Museum in Cherokee, NC.  Witnesses reported that a young man, Bulmaro Morales, age 32, of Dudley NC, heroically jumped into the river to save a juvenile family member in distress.  When rangers arrived on scene the juvenile was safe on shore, but Morales had not resurfaced.  Rangers immediately joined with bystanders to search for Morales.  He was found under water, approximately 10-ft deep, unresponsive.  Life-saving efforts were conducted but were unsuccessful.  Cherokee EMS and Cherokee Fire and Rescue assisted with the incident.   No additional details are available at this time.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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