‘Kind’ student dies after plunging 150ft down cliff in tragic hiking accident

A “kind” and “devoted” student fell to her death from an 150ft cliff during a hike.

Gabriella Smith, who was studying at the University of Kentucky in the US, was found dead in the Daniel Boone National Forest after setting off on Monday, May 3.

The 24-year-old second-year medical student was preparing for another hiking trip with friends before the tragedy took place.

Mum Kerensa Smith said she was familiar with the trail and had done it just weeks earlier.

She told Fox19: “She was not a reckless person. We truly feel this was a tragic accident.”

Officials believe she may have lost her footing after getting too close to the edge.

Robert DiPaola, the university’s Dean for the College of Medicine, released a statement after the news emerged.

It read: “We are deeply saddened to share the news that Gabby Smith, a second-year medical student here at the University of Kentucky, passed away while on a hike at Red River Gorge.

He added: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family during this difficult time.

“Gabby was a kind, devoted student, and we will miss having her on our campus."

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Power County Search and Rescue officials were able to find the body after tracking its location on Gabriella’s phone.

The service posted on Facebook: “We did not get the results that we wanted. She was located at the bottom of a 150ft cliff and did not survive the fall.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this difficult time.

“We want to thank all the other agencies that helped on this call. The support was overwhelming.

“We also want to thank the numerous people/teams/groups from all over Kentucky and surrounding areas for the offers of help.”

Last month, a 13-year-old girl holidaying in Devon with her family was found dead at the bottom of a cliff.

The body was located by Sandy Bay cliffs in Exmouth on Saturday, April 17.

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The child had been on holiday with her family at the Haven Devon Cliffs Holiday Park.

Police said her death was not being treated as suspicious, Devon Live reported.

Eyewitnesses said there was a “very significant” ambulance and police presence.

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