Two State Park Deaths in Two Days

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CARBON COUNTY -- Two drownings in two days at the same state park in Carbon County have authorities encouraging visitors to sign up for safety programs that explain the dangers of the great outdoors.

As Joe Mogilski runs through Lehigh Gorge State Park in Carbon County, he remembers the two men who died in the park over a two-day span. Mogilski knew both men.

"Every so often I see vehicles flying through here. I'm saying, 'Oh no. Did somebody fall off the falls again?' and stuff like that, and it's hard enough to deal with that, let alone with somebody that you know," said Mogilski.

Lee Mantz of Coaldale was taking a picture on Sunday when he slipped on a rock and fell 30 feet into the river. A day later, Noah Krynock of Summit Hill drowned in the Lehigh River while swimming with friends. The park manager says swimming is not allowed anywhere in the park.

Joe Mogilski knew both victims. He grew up near Mantz and taught Krynock at Panther Valley High School.

"Noah was a very, very nice kid as well, very quiet, very respectful, a good student and it's a shame what happened with him as well," said Mogilski.

Even though two deaths happened here in two days, the park manager insists these kinds of accidents are not common here at the park.

"Certainly there's injuries. You know, it is a natural environment so there's natural hazards and with the volume of people that visit the parks, certainly things are going to happen, but this is kind of an extreme summer for us," said park manager Dave Madl.

Park manager Dave Madl encourages visitors to learn about outdoor safety by signing up for educational programs at Lehigh Gorge and other state parks.

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