The National Park Service mourns the loss of one of its own.
NPS Ranger David Caldwell passed away Tuesday.
Caldwell collapsed around 12:30 p.m., while preparing to present a school program at the Grandview area of New River Gorge National River.
Park Ranger Richard Altare and Volunteer Ron Hunter began CPR within seconds of Caldwell's collapse and deployed an Automatic External Defibrillator, which delivered one shock. Two nurses with the visiting school group continued CPR until ambulance personnel with Jan Care EMS arrived. They continued CPR and delivered two additional shocks.
Caldwell was transported to a local hospital where hospital staff took extreme measures to save him, but all efforts failed. He was pronounced dead at approximately 2 p.m.
Caldwell was a deeply loved member of the New River Gorge National River family, and the park staff is devastated by the loss. For more than 14 years, he provided education programs for thousands of school children. Caldwell was also the park's primary public information officer, providing valuable information to members of the press and regular updates to the park's website.
Park Superintendent Don Striker said, "We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our favorite and most capable park rangers, but we take some small solace in the fact that David passed away while doing what he loved - sharing his love of the outdoors with a group of students. Our entire staff sends their sympathy, thoughts and prayers to David's family and friends during this difficult time."