Alabama man falls 50 feet to his death while trying to take photo

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An Alabama man died after sustaining severe head trauma in a 50-foot fall while trying to take a picture of the scenic views in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. 

Wesley Brandon Stedham, 48, of Warrior, fell to his death from the Chimney Tops Overlook at around 1.40pm Tuesday, the National Parks Service confirmed. 

He slipped after ‘stepping down a steep slope below the overlook for a photograph’, said the statement, but added that he had broken no park rules before he fell.   

Park rangers and a rescue team rappelled down by rope to rescue Stedham but he died from his injuries.  

There is no fence, wall or guardrail at the top of the slope where he fell.  

Stedham has been described by friends as a massive high school football fan who knew how to ‘love family and enjoy life’. 

He called football games for the local team at Hayden High where the school’s coach said that he will be sorely missed.

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‘The loss of that voice on a Friday night is going to be a big time difference,’ Keith Register told WBMA. 

‘He means a lot to this football program and the things he did for the football program.’ 

‘I still don’t want to accept it,’ said Robert Bradford, who called the school’s games alongside Stedham. 

‘I still want to not believe it. Still want to think my phone is going to ring. You just don’t think something like that is going to happen to somebody so full of life like Brandon was.

‘Brandon was larger than life in more than one way, and he loved that way, and he cared,’ Bradford added. 

‘We all should learn from Brandon to love family and enjoy life because he definitely enjoyed life.’  

Great Smoky Mountain is the most visited national park in the nation, according to the Park Service, welcoming 12.5million visitors last year. 

The Chimney Tops where Stedham was climbing before he fell are among its most popular attractions.  

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