A man from the Kankakee area who was working on a short film along with six friends died after falling 48 feet Saturday at Starved Rock State Park.
Daniel King, 30, of Bradley died after falling from near the top center of Council Overhang, a partial cave-like indentation in a canyon wall near the Kaskaskia and Ottawa canyons trailheads, according to Illinois Conservation Police Sgt. Phil Wire.
“The sad part is, he had a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old, and the 2-year-old had his third birthday the day after his death,” Wire said this morning.
Wire confirmed the death and said Conservation Police responded around 10 a.m. Saturday for a report of a man falling at Council Overhang.
Wire said the man, along with six others with Glass Darkly Films, were given a permit to film at the park.
King left the trail to get on top of the Council Overhang cave to drop film “effects” by dropping something from above for the video. Wire said there are no trails to the top of that cliff, and King may have climbed a retaining wall from along Route 71 to get to the spot.
“Though they did have a (film) permit, they do not have a permit to go off the trails,” Wire said.
A small dead tree broke off about a foot from its roots either before or during the fall, Wire said.
A source listed with Glass Darkly Films did not wish to comment to the newspaper.
Wire said he’s not sure what type of short film the group was trying to make, but they were making smoke near a canoe in a creek below the cliff and King was dropping or preparing to drop paper from atop the overhang.
Utica fire chief Ben Brown said the fire department was called at 10:03 a.m. and remained at the scene for an hour.
Oglesby Fire Department and Wallace Fire Department also responded, while La Salle Ambulance manned the Utica fire station.
This is the second fatality from a fall at the park in 2019. The last death was in July when a man, who entered a restricted area, fell 31 feet off of a bluff behind Starved Rock Lodge.
Craig Sterrett can be reached at (815) 220-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_NewsEditor.