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Recent Lambert High grad dies after ropes course injury in Tennessee

SOUTH FORSYTH — A recent high school graduate has succumbed to injuries he sustained nearly two weeks ago at a newly opened canopy ropes course in Tennessee.

Gregory Paul Horan II, 18, died Wednesday at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. He had reportedly been going through the course at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville with his sister when injured on July 22

Horan graduated from Lambert High School in May, according to Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for Forsyth County Schools. He previously attended South Forsyth Middle and Sharon and Big Creek elementary schools. His sister is a rising junior at Lambert.

According to Gary Davison, principal at Lambert, Horan completed the accounting pathway and was active in Future Business Leaders Association and the National Technical Honor Society.

“Greg was a wonderful young man who left a tremendous mark on the Lambert community,” Davison said. “He will be sorely missed.”

According to, a local Knoxville ABC affiliate, Horan’s sister “looked away for a moment” while they were on the course and “when she looked back, she saw him suspended in the air, off the platform” hanging by the neck from a loop in the harness system.

Staff members lowered him to the ground a short time later and began performing CPR before he was taken to UT Medical Center in critical condition. He was not breathing and did not have a pulse when he was lowered to the ground.

An autopsy was performed Thursday, though results were not immediately available.

The center has been in operation for six years, but had been running just a few days this season when the incident occurred. It features six different courses, 60 different elements and seven zip lines.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported an inspection by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Monday found a “key component of the course is unsafe.”

The state of Tennessee suspended the operating permit for the center Thursday.

The weeks leading up to the start of the 2015-16 school year have been full of tragedy in Forsyth County.

Also on July 22, the 17-year-old son of state Sen. Michael Williams was critically injured when he hit his head after falling off his longboard skateboard down a hill. Ammon Williams was with his siblings, a 15-year-old brother and 13-year-old sister, at the time.

As of the most recent update, the rising North Forsyth High senior remained in an induced coma at a Gainesville hospital in an effort to reduce swelling.

Earlier on the morning of July 22, two brothers — Jacob Jerry Dean Smith, 9, and Jared Will Smith, 8, and both students at Johns Creek Elementary School — were shot and killed, along with their mother, by her boyfriend.

Their grandfather was also shot in the domestic violence incident and was taken to a hospital in critical condition from several gunshot wounds.

On Sunday, 15-year-old Joe Dumphy, a rising sophomore at North, passed away a month after he was involved in a two-vehicle wreck on Ga. 400 in Dawson County that killed his grandfather and injured his grandmother.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.