Park Closes Hazel Creek Trail and Backcountry Campsite 82 Due to Fatality

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have closed campsite 82 and a section of Hazel Creek Trail after rangers have discovered the remains of an out-of-state adult male at the campsite.  On the afternoon of September 11, backpackers found an unoccupied tent at campsite 82.  Shortly thereafter, the hikers discovered what appeared to be human remains across the creek with a bear scavenging in the area.   The hikers quickly left to obtain cell coverage and report the incident to the authorities.   

Emergency Communication staff received the initial report shortly after 7:00 p.m. Law enforcement rangers and wildlife officers were immediately dispatched to the scene.  Staff arrived at campsite 82 shortly after midnight and confirmed the report of a deceased adult human male.  After observing a bear actively scavenging on the remains, the rangers euthanized the bear.   Rangers are currently working to notify the next of kin.  The cause of death is unknown, and the case remains under active investigation. 

The Hazel Creek Trail will remain closed until further notice between the juncture with Cold Springs Gap Trail and Welch Ridge Trail.  

For more information on what to do if you encounter a bear while hiking, please visit the park website at To report a bear incident, please call 865-436-1230. 

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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