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updated: 12/14/2011 8:13 AM

Gurnee college student dies in fall at Ohio park

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  • William Beinlich on memorial Facebook page

    William Beinlich on memorial Facebook page

  • Video: Hocking Hills (Ohio) State Park Waterfalls


A college student from Gurnee fell about 60 feet to his death after straying from a marked trail in an Ohio state park, authorities said.

William Beinlich, 18, died from closed-head injuries and blunt force from the fall Sunday, said Hocking County Coroner Dr. David Cummin. The Purdue University freshman was visiting a young woman and her family in southeastern Ohio over the weekend, Cummin said Tuesday.

Beinlich accompanied his friend's family to Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio, according to Cummin and state Department of Natural Resources reports. Beinlich was with one of the young woman's teenage brothers in the Old Man's Cave area when he strayed from a marked trial, slipped on ice and initially fell 30 feet to the park's Lower Falls.

Cummin said Beinlich plunged an additional 30 feet to a water pool 4 to 5 feet deep. A physician and others hiking nearby rushed to Beinlich and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him for about 30 minutes before paramedics and other authorities arrived at 11:44 a.m. Sunday, Cummin said.

Signs are posted warning hikers to stay on the Hocking Hills trails, Ohio authorities said. Cummin said the park's weak sandstone makes hiking off the marked trails dangerous.

"A lot of locals won't take their children there," Cummin said.

Reports from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources state alcohol, drugs or foul play are not suspected in Beinlich's death. He was pronounced dead at 12:02 p.m. Sunday

Cummin said Beinlich's death was the first at Hocking Hills in at least 10 years.

Beinlich attended Warren Township High School in Gurnee. Cummin said Beinlich and the young woman he was visiting knew each other since they were in high school in Gurnee.

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