Mom dies after saving son from falling tree in National Park

Falling trees caused 18 fatalities of wildland firefighters between 1990 and 2014 but it’s not supposed to happen to visitors in National Parks.

While a family was hiking on a trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee on December 27 part of a tree fell killing the mother, Laila Jiwani, a 42-year-old pediatrician from Plano, Texas and injuring her 6-year-old son.

Below is an excerpt from an article at Knox News:

Her husband, Taufiq Jiwani, said Jiwani died “immediately upon the severity of the impact.”

The couple was hiking in the park with their three sons. One of the sons, Jibran, was also injured by the tree, which broke his leg in two places and caused “superficial head injuries,” according to the post.

Jibran, 6, was airlifted to the UT Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, according to Litterst. He underwent surgery and was scheduled to be discharged on Saturday, according to the Facebook post.

“Doctors said that Laila saved Jibran’s life by taking the brunt of the impact,” Taufiq Jiwani wrote on Facebook.

Our sincere condolences go out to the Jiwani family.

And firefighters … be careful out there.

Dudley Fire Buffalo Gap SD
A hazardous tree on the Dudley Fire in Buffalo Gap, SD, March 3, 2016.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Mom dies after saving son from falling tree in National Park”

  1. I do not totally agree with the statement in this article that trees are not supposed to kill recreational public. When we go into wild places we are taking the risk. Agencies should not be held responsible as there is no way they can unwild a place nor should they. Same with trees that fall into waters that people kayak or raft in. That said if a trail is high use and around developed facilities it should be managed to remove hazard trees. Educating the public about hazard trees and especially wind conditions that make it unsafe at trailheads always makes sense.

  2. Let’s see…they (NPS) have the leave it in place policy to be more natural, they cut hands-on positions but keep and continue to add upper level positions; and, this comes after the fire one or two years ago. I would love to see the NPS make their parks safer because this isn’t the only park that has had trees fall on visitors, at least in Tennessee. Big South Fork NRRA had at least one, maybe two, individuals injured from falling trees within the last couple of years. I’m sorry for the Jiwani family. ?


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