Woman Sentenced to 7 Days for Walking in Yellowstone Hot Springs

A Connecticut woman was sentenced to seven days in jail for stepping on the thermal baths in Yellowstone National Park, an act authoriti...


A Connecticut woman was sentenced to seven days in jail for stepping on the thermal baths in Yellowstone National Park, an act authorities have called extremely dangerous.

The woman, Madeline Casey, 26, was sentenced on August 18 according to a statement from the United States attorney’s office for the district of Wyoming. She was charged with traveling to spa areas and disorderly driving, court records show.

Ms Casey and two others with her, who were not identified in the statement, made their way to a thermal pool and geyser at Norris Geyser Basin, one of Yellowstone’s largest thermal areas, after leaving the marked walk during a last visit. months, authorities said.

Concerned onlookers took photos and videos of the three as they walked on the thermal floor, the statement said.

“The soil is fragile and thin, and the boiling water just below the surface can cause serious or fatal burns,” said Morgan Warthin, spokesperson for Yellowstone National Park. “More than 20 people have died from burns suffered after entering or falling in Yellowstone hot springs. “

Authorities said the park does a “damn good job” warning people to stay on the boardwalk and trails in spa areas and educating them about the unstable ground, boiling water and boiling mud.

“Yet there will always be people like Ms. Casey who don’t understand,” Bob Murray, the acting US lawyer, said in the statement. “While a criminal prosecution and prison sentence may seem harsh, it’s better than spending time in a hospital burn unit.”

A woman visited Yellowstone last year when it was closed due to the pandemic and suffered severe burns when she fell into a hot spring or steam vent while taking photos, The Associated Press reported.

Thermal features of the park include hot springs, geysers, steam vents, and mud pots. Last fall, the AP reported, a man walking on a boardwalk fell into a hot spring and also suffered severe burns. In 2016, a 23-year-old man fell into a pot of acid mud and died.

A man who was cited for walking into a spa area around the same time as Ms Casey, and whose fine was later waived, said on Friday he had not seen the signs warning people to do not enter the thermal area as they were too low to the ground.

“I just wanted to see where the steam was going up and have a picture,” said the man, Floyd K. Parham. “After I got the photo I went back to my truck, but they said I had passed through the thermal zone. “

According to National Park Service website, the Norris Geyser Basin is the hottest and oldest of Yellowstone’s thermal areas. Evidence suggests that Norris has had thermal characteristics for at least 115,000 years, and very few of them are below the boiling point of water.

Ms Casey’s attorney, Ryan Wright, declined to comment on Friday. A message left with Ms Casey through her lawyer was not returned on Friday.

In addition to jail time, Ms. Casey was ordered to pay a fine of $ 1,000, a community service payment of $ 1,000 to the Yellowstone Forever Geological Resource Fund and $ 40 in costs.

It was not immediately clear why Ms Casey had been singled out in the federal prosecutors’ statement. It was also unclear whether charges had been laid against the other two people who were with her.

Messages left in Yellowstone and the US attorney’s office on Friday were not immediately returned.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Woman Sentenced to 7 Days for Walking in Yellowstone Hot Springs
Woman Sentenced to 7 Days for Walking in Yellowstone Hot Springs
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