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37-Year-Old Father Who Fell at Ross Pond Park in Killingly Dies

A 37-year-old man who fell while hiking at Ross Pond State Park in Killingly over the weekend was pronounced dead on Monday. 

Merton Hart III, of Ballouville, was hiking with his wife, another adult and three children when he fell approximately 100 feet from an overlook above Half Hill Pond, known as Lower Ross Pond around 3 p.m. Sunday. 

Officials from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said he fell onto broken and rocky hillside and suffered injuries to his head and lower body.

Hart had to be extricated through rocky terrain and brush to the edge of the pond, put into the fire department's boat and brought across the pond before he was airlifted to the Rhode Island Hospital, according to DEEP. 

Hart was pronounced dead on Monday. 

Firefighters said Hart's fatal accident was the first death from the a fall at the cliffs in five years, however, someone slips off at least once on average every year. 

DEEP's EnCon Police are continuing to investigate the fall. 

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