May 29, 2005
Great Smoky Mountain National Park - Dr. John Bolinger, 56,
of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was hiking up the Alum Cave Trail with a
group of five other men, intent on an overnight stay at LeConte
Lodge. About a mile from the lodge and more than three miles from the
trailhead, Bolinger suddenly collapsed on the side of the trail.
He almost immediately stopped breathing and turned cyanotic. His
hiking companions pulled him back onto the trail and began CPR. After
the companions performed CPR for four or five minutes, two doctors
from another party that were hiking on the trail arrived on scene.
The doctors assessed the patient and continued CPR for about 10
minutes. After about 10 to 15 minutes, they reassessed the patient
and decided to discontinue CPR.
Another hiker moved up the trail
to a point where he could get cell phone reception and called 911 for
assistance. The 911 call was transferred to the park dispatch center
and rangers arrived on the scene at about 6:10 p.m. With the
assistance of lodge concession employees, they transported Bolingerís
body to the lodge. On May 30th, the body was packed out by horse and
transferred to the custody of the county coroner.