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Fatal Fall at Metroparks Prompts Safety Reminders

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By Allison Brown

OAKWOOD, Ohio -- Just one day after a fatal fall at the Cleveland Metroparks, rangers are stressing the importance of public safety.

Friday night, Randy Prosen, 37, of Northfield, fell to his death off an embankment at the Bedford Reservation. Authorities said a witness spotted Prosen around 5:45 p.m., but he was unresponsive.

Crews from the Oakwood Fire Department recovered the man’s body just after 8 p.m.

“I'm saddened. I'm saddened when we have to rescue or recover someone," said Sgt. Victor McDowell Jr., a ranger with the Cleveland Metroparks. “It’s a tragic event."

McDowell has been with Cleveland Metroparks for 10 years, and believes the beauty of the parks is very real, but so is the danger if you aren’t paying attention.

"If you don't have the appropriate clothing on or you’re not familiar with the area, or you are hiking on a day like yesterday where it was very cold and
icy, you increase your likelihood of having an accident," said McDowell.

Authorities tell FOX 8 they still don’t know how long Prosen’s body may have been there.

They said it's a good time to reflect on public safety.

"Stay on the trails that are marked by the trail heads and maps,” said McDowell.

McDowell also stressed that it is important to bring a cell phone with you if you are walking alone. Better yet, he believes having another person walk with you is the best scenario.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has yet to determine the exact cause of Prosen’s death.

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