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Man Sentenced To Jail For Walking on Yellowstone Thermal; Woman Avoids Jail Time

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By CJ Baker, Powell Tribune

After raising concerns about how her case was handled, a Connecticut woman who was caught walking on one of Yellowstone National Park’s thermal areas last summer won’t be going to jail.

In a ruling earlier this month, a federal magistrate rejected Madeline Casey’s contentions that her constitutional rights were violated, but eliminated a seven-day jail sentence “in an abundance of fairness.”

Her co-defendant, however, wasn’t as fortunate. Days after reducing Casey’s sentence, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman rejected a proposed plea agreement for Timothy R. Francis that called for no jail time; the judge instead ordered Francis to serve a week behind bars for his role in the July 22 incident, according to his defense attorney and court records.

Federal prosecutors say the 26-year-old Casey and Francis ventured off the boardwalk in the Norris Geyser Basin in July. Both ultimately pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of foot travel in a thermal area.

At an August hearing, Carman handed Casey a seven-day sentence while imposing $1,040 in fines and fees and ordering a $1,000 payment to Yellowstone Forever, a nonprofit organization that supports the park. Casey was also banned from Yellowstone over the course of two years of probation, while prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming and Yellowstone officials soon highlighted her case — and the perils of going off-trail — in a press release picked up by numerous national news outlets.

In the statement, Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Murray noted that the park’s thermal areas are dangerous and well-marked, “yet there will always be those like Ms. Casey who don’t get it.”

“Although a criminal prosecution and jail time may seem harsh, it’s better than spending time in a hospital’s burn unit,” Murray said then.

Casey represented herself at her Aug. 18 sentencing hearing — indicating an attorney was too expensive — but soon afterward, she retained counsel and appealed her punishment. Her newly hired attorney, Ryan Wright of Cheyenne, contended that Casey’s rights had been infringed and questioned the fairness of her sentence.

“… Ms. Casey’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel was violated when the Court [Carman] did not appoint her an attorney after she informed the Court she could not afford counsel, even though she was facing the possibility of a jail sentence and was indeed sentenced to jail,” Wright wrote.

In response to the concerns — and the fact that no recording exists of Casey’s initial court appearance — the U.S. Attorney’s Office recommended that Carman vacate the sentence and schedule a new hearing or trial. But that idea was opposed by Wright, who said the government’s suggestion to put the case back on a trial track was “the most costly, lengthy, untimely, burdensome and prejudicial approach.”

Carman ultimately ruled without a hearing, issuing a three-page decision on Nov. 2.

Although he lessened Casey’s sentence, the judge generally rejected her attorney’s contentions. For instance, Wright charged that, in order to appear in court via Zoom, Casey had been instructed to sign a form that waived her right to an attorney. However, Judge Carman noted the form requesting permission to appear remotely was separate from the document waiving an attorney.

“Having reviewed these forms, the court finds that they are clear,” the judge wrote. “And, further, had Ms. Casey been confused about the forms and sought additional information on the issue, it would have been clarified in the hearing.”

Carman added that, while there’s no recording of her initial hearing, Casey was properly advised of her rights and “fully understood her right to representation, including her right to court appointed representation if she was indigent.”

According to the ruling, Casey initially said she’d be hiring an attorney, then changed her mind and requested a change of plea hearing; she mentioned that the cost of a lawyer was “outside of my wheelhouse.”

In retrospect, Judge Carman said it would have been better if he’d pressed Casey on her “ambiguous statement regarding the cost of representation.”

“While this Court does not find any violations of Ms. Casey’s rights, in an abundance of fairness, this Court will vacate the jail sentence imposed,” Carman concluded, leaving the rest of the judgment intact.

Casey accepted the revised sentence, with Wright and another Cheyenne attorney, Jeremiah Sandburg, notifying the U.S. District Court on Nov. 8 that she was dropping her appeal.

But that same day, her co-defendant received a sentence that included jail time.

Francis’s case was delayed and a warrant issued for his arrest after he failed to show up for his initial court dates, but he later retained Branden Vilos of Cody and struck a deal with prosecutors. In exchange for Francis’ guilty plea to the count of foot travel in a thermal area, Vilos said the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed to drop counts of disorderly conduct and violating closures and to effectively seek the same sentence given to Casey: $2,040 in financial penalties with no jail time.

However, at the Nov. 8 hearing, Judge Carman rejected the proposal. He instead imposed a seven-day jail sentence alongside $1,540 in penalties and a two-year ban from Yellowstone. Vilos said the judge expressed a desire to be consistent with past sentences for similar offenses.

For his part, the defense attorney said he made the case that Francis — who lacked a prior criminal record — was very cooperative and immediately took responsibility for his actions when approached by a park ranger.

“I argued that he [Francis] would be punished enough,” Vilos said, and that a stiffer sentence might not necessarily deter the general public.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Park Service did not publicize Francis’ sentence or Casey’s reduced punishment, but Casey’s attorney highlighted her lightened sentence in a news release provided to CNN earlier this month.

“We are grateful that the Court recognized the harsh sentence,” Wright wrote, “and that it was fair to vacate the jail sentence.”

As for Vilos, he would have liked a more lenient sentence for Francis, given his cooperation.

“But I do recognize the public safety concern and all that, too,” Vilos said. “It’s that balance, and the court’s got a role to play in this.”

Francis has until April to serve his seven days in jail. 

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Judge Allows Wife of Man Detained As Triple Murder Suspect To Sue Park County Sheriff

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A legal standard that protects government officials from being sued in most cases can be used in the case of law enforcement officers accused of wrongfully detaining a Missouri family in 2017, a federal judge has ruled.

However, the judge found that the officers can only be protected from a lawsuit filed by the husband who was detailed and that his wife can proceed with her lawsuit against them.

Brett and Genalyn Hemry are suing Park County Sheriff’s Department officers Robert Cooke and Brett Tillery, along with National Park Service rangers, alleging violations of their rights against improper search and seizure, use of excessive force and false imprisonment in the traffic stop near Yellowstone National Park that resulted from a search for a man suspected in a triple murder.

The law enforcement officers claimed they were protected from lawsuits by “qualified immunity.” According to Cornell University, qualified immunity protects a government official from lawsuits alleging that the official violated a plaintiff’s rights, only allowing suits where officials violated a “clearly established” statutory or constitutional right.

According to court documents, National Park Service rangers stopped the Hemrys after they left the park service’s east gate. Rangers had identified Brett Hemry as a possible suspect in a triple murder because, like the suspect, he had white hair and drove a white car.

About one-half hour after the stop, Park County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and forced Brett Hemry and his wife at gunpoint to get into separate law enforcement vehicles. While the Hemrys were being detained, another officer continued to point a weapon at the family’s car, where the family’s child, identified only as F.M.H., remained.

The lawsuit said after about an hour of detention in the deputy’s vehicle, Brett Hemry was allowed to display his identification and was told why he was stopped. At that point, the three were told they were free to go, the lawsuit said.

Because the officers had a reason for detaining Hemry, since he matched the suspect’s physical description, U.S. District Judge Judge Alan Johnson ruled that the officers are protected from a lawsuit over allegations of Hemry’s wrongful arrest under terms of qualified immunity.

However, Johnson ruled the officers did not have cause to detain Genalyn Hemry because the officers should have known she was not the suspect.

“This Court concludes that probable cause supported Mr. Hemry’s arrest, but not Mrs. Hemry’s,” Johnson wrote in his decision.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages to compensate the Hemrys for “their loss of freedom and for their emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life” and punitive damages for the “intentional, reckless, and outrageous actions” of the law enforcement officers.

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Yellowstone Superintendent Open To Changing Name Of Mountain in Yellowstone

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By CJ Baker, Powell Tribune


In 2017, a coalition of Native American tribes called on the federal government to rename a pair of Yellowstone National Park locations, asserting that the namesakes of Mount Doane and Hayden Valley were unworthy of the honor.

Four years later, the tribes’ petition remains in limbo, with the National Park Service having yet to weigh in on the proposal.

Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly said much of the delay has been ensuring the Park Service has a “comprehensive engagement” with the more than two dozen tribes associated with the park. In an interview last week, Sholly said he is open to the idea of changing the name of Mount Doane. He said a few different alternatives have been suggested, “and we’ll be happy to work with the tribes closely to see what might be possible.”

As for renaming Hayden Valley, “I think we need to kind of look at everything that’s been submitted a little more closely — what the recommendations for change are, which tribes have been involved in those conversations,” Sholly said. “I want to really engage the tribes more to see exactly what they’re thinking.”

The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association and the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council submitted a petition to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names in September 2017 that formally requested the two name changes; the groups represent leaders from 26 different tribes, including the Eastern Shoshone Tribal Council and the Northern Arapaho Tribal Council of Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation.

The tribes’ petition called the namesake of Mount Doane, Gustavus C. Doane, “a war criminal” and accused Hayden Valley namesake Ferdinand Hayden of being a racist who advocated for genocide of Native Americans. The petition suggested new names of First People’s Mountain and Buffalo Nations Valley, calling the current monikers shameful and deplorable.

There are questions about whether Hayden — a pioneering explorer of Yellowstone and the Rocky Mountains — made some of the racist statements attributed to him in the tribes’ petition, but historical records and historians paint a more damning picture of Doane.

The Cavalry lieutenant led one of the government’s first expeditions into Yellowstone in 1870, but also participated in the Marias Massacre, in which more than 200 Piegan Blackfeet — mostly women and children — were killed.

The Cavalry had actually attacked the wrong band of Piegan, according to a summary prepared for the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, killing people who had been promised protection by the federal government. Yet two decades later, Doane unapologetically boasted of his role in the “the greatest slaughter of Indians ever made by U.S. troops.”

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names has been seeking input on the proposed name changes to Mount Doane and Hayden Valley since 2017.

Cody Regional Health
Park County commissioners unanimously voted to oppose the proposals in May 2018. Then-Commissioner Tim French, now a state senator, called them the “dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” “political correctness run amok” and an attempt “to rewrite history.”

The Wyoming Board on Geographic Names initially waited to see what position the National Park Service would take, but with no word from the federal agency, the state board opted to move forward in 2019. The Wyoming board voted 7-1 to recommend leaving Hayden’s name on the sprawling valley that lies between Fishing Bridge and Canyon, but voted 6-2 to support stripping Doane’s name from the mountain peak, which lies east of Yellowstone Lake.

Two years later after the state board’s vote, the Park Service is continuing to visit with tribal representatives, including a conversation last week. Sholly mentioned that, when he looks at the groups that were a part of the petition, “there’s a lot of tribes that aren’t on that list.”

Membership rolls indicate that the South Dakota-based Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association and the Billings-based Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council, who filed the petition, represent leaders from 18 of the 27 tribes associated with Yellowstone.

Sholly noted that, in general, there are varying opinions among the different tribes.

“[I] want to make sure that, to the best degree possible, we’ve got as much consensus around what we change the name to,” he said. “I’m not adverse to changing the name of Mount Doane, so we’ll keep working with them on that and figure out what the best way forward is there.”

In the meantime, Sholly said Yellowstone officials have been working on ways to bring more of a tribal presence in the park.

As part of Yellowstone’s 150th anniversary next year, a large tepee village will be erected near the North Entrance, providing an opportunity for visitors to speak with tribal members — and Native American art will be displayed at the Old Faithful Haynes Photo Shop. As part of ongoing dialogues with the tribes on what the Park Service can be doing better, Yellowstone officials have also compiled an inventory of all the park’s exhibits relating to Native Americans, Sholly said.

“We’ll be asking the tribes to look at what we’ve been doing, are we doing it right, what are we missing, what needs to be changed?” he said.

As for the potential name changes to Mount Doane and Hayden Valley, that decision will ultimately rest with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, a panel made up of representatives from various federal agencies. It is unclear when the board might take up the proposal.

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Women Severely Burned At Yellowstone Beginning To Wake From Coma

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The woman who was severely burned earlier this month at Yellowstone National Park is beginning to awaken from her medically-induced coma, her family announced this week.

Laiha Slayton, 20, was burned when she jumped into a hot spring to rescue her dog, which had jumped out of the family’s vehicle and into the hot spring. Her father pulled her out of the spring. The dog ultimately died from its injuries.

Laiha’s sister, Kamilla Slayton, gave a brief update on Tuesday, noting that her sister’s doctors are slowly waking her from the coma. However, she was not fully awake at the time of the posting.

“She’s pretty uncomfortable right now,” Kamilla Slayton wrote on the family’s GoFundMe campaign for her sister. “She most likely can hear us that doctors say. She did try to move a lot of her upper body and her tongue.”

In addition to the GoFundMe campaign, which had raised almost $70,000 as of Friday, the family is now selling t-shirts to help raise money to cover Slayton’s medical bills and recovery.

Last week, Kamilla Slayton announced that her sister was receiving cadaver skin grafts to replace the skin she lost due to the burns.

Slayton said her sister was in scalding hot, 190-degree, water for about eight seconds.

“My sister’s palms are completely gone and will have to go into surgery and possibly for the rest of her body too,” Slayton said.

She said Laiha has burns on 91% of her body, a mix of third-degree and second-degree burns.

“The burns seem to be better than they had initially thought. She still has some 3rd degree burns but mostly 2nd degree burns after they have got a better look at the skin today,” Kamilla wrote. “This means that our dad pulled her out insanely fast. She’s incredibly lucky. Dad saved her life.”

Slayton said her father was not in pain and his wounds on his foot were being treated. She said his blisters’ average size were about 1.5 inches.

Slayton’s was second significant injury in a thermal area in 2021. The first occurred in September at Old Faithful when a 19-year-old woman left the boardwalk on the park and suffered second- and third-degree burns to 5% of her body.

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Yellowstone Sets Record With Over 4 Million Visits

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Another record broken.

Yellowstone National Park this week reported a record-breaking 882,078 visitors in September – a five percent increase from September 2020 and a 27% increase from September 2019.

Park officials say this is the busiest September on record, and the first time ever that the Park has hosted over four million visits in one calendar year. So far in 2021, 4,472,982 people visited the country’s first National Park, up 32% from the same period last year, and up 17% from 2019.

The enormous number of people who came through the gates of Yellowstone this year have caused some issues, especially when compounded by the labor shortage experienced by the hospitality and service industry throughout the country.

Mike Keller, general manager for Xanterra Parks and Resorts in Yellowstone, said the company operated at about 60% of normal staffing levels this summer — and that’s even with some facilities closed or operating at limited capacity.

“From a dining standpoint, options are limited, and most restaurants, if open, are buffet only, or just grab-and-go food options,” Keller said.

And Diane Shober, Executive Director for the Wyoming Office of Tourism, told Cowboy State Daily the problems weren’t limited to the National Parks.

“The ability to handle the volume of visitors that we’ve had has been challenging this year,” she said, “predominantly because of workforce. Restaurants have had to alter their hours, retailers are altering their hours; outfitters and guides for rafting or other things, are offering things at a different capacity because of workforce.”

The labor shortage and high visitor numbers have caused some communities in other states, who also depend on tourism as their economic base, to consider backing off on the amount of money they spend to market themselves as a tourist destination.

John Norton, the Executive Director for the Tourism and Prosperity Partnership in Gunnison and Crested Butte, Colorado, told NPR this summer that their agency made the controversial decision to halt their marketing efforts.

“Well, we don’t want to throw gasoline on a fire,” he said. “Hopefully, it’s going to turn the dial down on the intensity.”

But Shober said that she feels action like that is short-sighted.

“You have to think about how over the last two years, Americans have not been able to travel outside of the country,” she explained. “We’ve not been able to go to international destinations – so the outbound travel of Americans has been limited.”

Shober said that because Wyoming is a prime destination for people who want to experience the great outdoors, the last two summers have been banner years. But that may change soon.

“Americans have been limited in their ability to go to cities, which are huge draws – Las Vegas, New York, and states like California, where there are really strict COVID restrictions. So these last two years of travel patterns should not be our indicator of 100% future travel patterns.”

Shober pointed out that the tourism industry should not make knee-jerk reactions to the overcrowding and understaffing issues that Wyomingites experienced this year.

“We need to pay attention to the travel patterns of Americans,” she said. “There will be pent up demand for Americans to travel outside of the United States. The Broadway shows in New York just opened up last month, and there will be pent up demand to go back to cities and experience these things. So the competition will be changing and it’s going to remain fierce.”

Shober noted that decisions shouldn’t be made based on just one season’s experience.

“We can’t make decisions in a silo. We must look at travel in a holistic sense.”

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Woman Severely Burned Trying to Rescue Dog in Yellowstone Receiving Cadaver Skin For Grafts

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A young woman who was severely burned last week in a Yellowstone National Park thermal area has now had multiple surgeries to deal with the injuries.

Laiha Slayton, 20, was burned when she jumped into a hot spring to rescue her dog, which had jumped out of the family’s vehicle and gotten away. Her father pulled her out of the spring and the dog ultimately died from its injuries.

Her sister, Kamilla Slayton, said her sister — who is still in a medically-induced coma — has already undergone four successful surgeries, but more work was still needed.

“She is hanging in as [tough] as possible,” Slayton wrote on a GoFundMe page. “The last surgery went well and they were able to work on her front and back which is awesome! Laiha will continue to go through surgeries to remove the dead skin and replace it will cadaver skin until the hospital has grown more compatible skin for Laiha.”

Slayton said her sister was in scalding hot, 190-degree, water for about eight seconds.

“My sister’s palms are completely gone and will have to go into surgery and possibly for the rest of her body too,” Slayton said.

She said Laiha has burns on 91% of her body, a mix of third-degree and second-degree burns.

“The burns seem to be better than they had initially thought. She still has some 3rd degree burns but mostly 2nd degree burns after they have got a better look at the skin today,” Kamilla wrote. “This means that our dad pulled her out insanely fast. She’s incredibly lucky. Dad saved her life.”

Slayton said her father was not in pain and his wounds on his foot were being treated. She said his blisters’ average size were about 1.5 inches.

The GoFundMe page for Laiha has raised more than $60,000 as of Tuesday.

Slayton’s was second significant injury in a thermal area in 2021. The first occurred in September at Old Faithful when a 19-year-old woman left the boardwalk on the park and suffered second- and third-degree burns to 5% of her body.

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Yellowstone Officials Scaling Back Search Of Missing Utah Man

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Yellowstone National Park officials are scaling back search efforts for a Utah man who has been missing in the park for nearly three weeks.

Crumbo, 74, and his brother Mark O’Neill, of Washington, were reported overdue by a family member on Sept. 19 from their four-night backcountry trip to Shoshone Lake.

Park search crews found O’Neill’s body the next day. It was determined the man died of hypothermia.

Search teams have been using helicopters, boats, sonar technology and ground crews to find Crumbo, to no avail at this point. Current weather forecasts call for deteriorating conditions over the next week, including snow and freezing temperatures.

Park officials will continue limited search efforts, as long as conditions allow, this year. In late September, park officials changed the search from a rescue to a recovery of Crumbo.

“All of us at Yellowstone extend our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of both Mark and Kim,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly. “I want to personally thank the teams from Yellowstone, other parks and agencies, and partner organizations who worked to help us locate Mark, and who continue search efforts to bring Kim home.”    

This incident is still under investigation. Officials are asking for the public’s help in putting together a timeline of events, so if anyone was in the Shoshone Lake area between Sept. 12-19, contact officials at 307-344-2428 or yell_tip@nps.gov.

Both O’Neill and Crumbo are National Park Service retirees, and Crumbo is a former U.S. Navy SEAL.

Shoshone Lake, the park’s second-largest, is located at the head of the Lewis River southwest of West Thumb. At 8,050 acres, its average year-round temperature is about 48 degrees. Survival time in the cold water is estimated to be only 20 to 30 minutes.

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Woman Gets Jail Time For Getting Too Close to Grizzly Bears

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

An Illinois woman who was caught on video getting too close to grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park earlier this year received four days in jail as punishment this week.

Samantha R. Dehring, 25, pleaded guilty to willfully remaining, approaching, and photographing wildlife within 100 yards. The other count, feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentionally disturbing wildlife, was dismissed.

Dehring appeared in front of Magistrate Judge Mark L. Carman in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming on Wednesday for her change of plea and sentencing hearing.

She was sentenced to four days in custody, one-year of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, a $1,000 community service payment to the Yellowstone Forever Wildlife Protection Fund, a $30 court processing fee and a $10 assessment.

Dehring also received a one-year ban from Yellowstone National Park.  

According to the violation notices, Dehring was at Roaring Mountain in Yellowstone National Park on May 10, when visitors noticed a sow grizzly and her three cubs.

While other visitors slowly backed off and got into their vehicles, Dehring remained. She continued to take pictures as the sow bluff charged her.  

“Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park are, indeed, wild. The park is not a zoo where animals  can be viewed within the safety of a fenced enclosure. They roam freely in their natural habitat  and when threatened will react accordingly,” said Acting United States Attorney Bob Murray.  “Approaching a sow grizzly with cubs is absolutely foolish. Here, pure luck is why Dehring is a  criminal defendant and not a mauled tourist.” 

According to the National Park Service, a bluff charge is the more common type of charge and is meant to scare or intimidate. If a bluff charge is about to happen, a person is supposed to slowly back away from the bear while waving their arms above their head and speaking to the bear in a calm voice.

People should not run when a bear bluff charges, because it may trigger the animal to attack.

According to Yellowstone National Park regulations, when an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space. Stay 25 yards away from all large animals – bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.

If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity.

This case was investigated by Yellowstone National Park Rangers and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Hambrick.

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Dog That Ran Into Yellowstone Hot Spring Died; $18K Raised For Owner

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The dog that ran into a Yellowstone National Park thermal area on Monday has died, park officials announced on Wednesday.

According to the park, the woman and her father exited their vehicle to look around the vicinity Fountain Flat Drive, south of Madison Junction, in the park. When they did, their dog jumped out of the car and into Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River.

The woman entered the hot spring to retrieve the dog. After her father pulled her out of the feature, he drove the party to West Yellowstone, Montana.

Yellowstone National Park rangers and Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District provided initial care to the woman at West Yellowstone. She was then transported to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

A GoFundMe campaign was launched by the family of the woman, identified through the campaign as Laiha Slayton, which had raised nearly $19,000 as of Wednesday afternoon. The campaign is intended to pay for medical expenses for the family, the veterinarian bill, food and lodging.

Slayton received third-degree on 90% of her body after jumping into the 190-degree water.

“My sister’s palms are completely gone and will have to go into surgery and possibly for the rest of her body too,” Kamilla Slayton wrote on the campaign. “She is in a medically induced coma for 2 weeks.”

The Slayton’s father burned his foot when saving his daughter from the hot spring, according to the campaign.

This was the second significant injury in a thermal area in 2021. The first occurred in September at Old Faithful when a 19-year-old woman left the boardwalk on the park and suffered second- and third-degree burns to 5% of her body.

In 2020, a three-year-old suffered second degree-thermal burns to the lower body and back and a visitor (who illegally entered the park) fell into a thermal feature at Old Faithful while backing up and taking photos.

In September 2019, a man suffered severe burns after falling into thermal water near the cone of Old Faithful Geyser. In June 2017, a man sustained severe burns after falling in a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin.

In June 2016, a man left the boardwalk and died after slipping into a hot spring in Norris Geyser Basin. In August 2000, one person died and two people received severe burns from falling into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin.

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Woman Burned At Yellowstone After Dog Runs Into Thermal Hot Spring

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A 20-year-old Washington woman suffered significant thermal burns from her shoulders to her feet on Monday afternoon at Yellowstone National Park after she rescued her dog from a thermal hot spring.

According to the park, the woman and her father exited their vehicle to look around the vicinity Fountain Flat Drive, south of Madison Junction, in the park. When they did, their dog jumped out of the car and into Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River.

The woman entered the hot spring to retrieve the dog. After her father pulled her out of the feature, he drove the party to West Yellowstone, Montana.

Yellowstone National Park rangers and Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District provided initial care to the woman at West Yellowstone. She was then transported to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

The dog was removed from the feature and the father intended to take it to a veterinarian. Its status is unknown currently.

This incident is under investigation and the park had no additional information to share as of Tuesday evening.

This is the second significant injury in a thermal area in 2021. The first occurred in September at Old Faithful when a 19-year-old woman left the boardwalk on the park and suffered second- and third-degree burns to 5% of her body.

In 2020, a three-year-old suffered second degree-thermal burns to the lower body and back and a visitor (who illegally entered the park) fell into a thermal feature at Old Faithful while backing up and taking photos.

In September 2019, a man suffered severe burns after falling into thermal water near the cone of Old Faithful Geyser. In June 2017, a man sustained severe burns after falling in a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin.

In June 2016, a man left the boardwalk and died after slipping into a hot spring in Norris Geyser Basin. In August 2000, one person died and two people received severe burns from falling into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin.

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