Safety on hikers' minds after tragic death - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

Safety on hikers' minds after tragic death

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SALINE COUNTY, IL - A 12-year-old Gallatin County girl fell to her death at the Chimney Rock area of the Garden of the Gods in Saline County, Illinois.

Investigators still aren't releasing her name.

The Garden of the Gods were quiet on the sunny day after the tragedy.

Rachel Radak was hiking in The Bluffs at the Garden of the Gods.  

"Read a little bit, journaled, listened to some music," said Radak.  

Radak had not heard the news of the little girl who fell to her death.

She says as a child hiking with her parents, she was adventurous, a risk-taker; now, she takes it a little easier.

She makes sure she hits the trail prepared for anything, too.
 
"I have a knife, just in case. You never if you're going to need it. Matches, stuff like that. I bring a jacket and a raincoat," said Radak.  
 
Radak says an adventurous spirit comes with risks. She is cautious, especially in the wake of tragedy.  
 
"I always make sure somebody knows where I'm at," said Radak.
 
The Shawnee National Forest staff was out of reach on Wednesday for an unrelated event, according to Public Relations Officer Amanda Patrick.

There have been at least four severe falls in the Garden of the Gods since 2009.

For tips on how to keep safe while out hiking click here.
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