A 36-year-old Kroger executive died over the weekend after a reported fall in eastern Kentucky.
WCPO Cincinnati reports that Mr. Jason M. Lazor fell 200 feet at Red River Gorge late Friday night, according to Wolfe County Coroner Frank Porter.
In an earlier report the coroner’s office stated alcohol was a factor in Mr. Lazor’s death, the TV station says.
The senior regional marketing director with Kroger was with about 25 campers visiting the Chimney Top Rock geological formation in Red River Gorge just before midnight Friday. Witnesses told rescue crews they watched Mr. Lazor climb over a protective railing and disappeared between two halves of the rock formations.
Rescuers rappelled down the 200-foot drop to the Red River throughout the night looking for Mr. Lazor.
John May, a member of the team who eventually found Mr. Lazor’s body, said people often jump across the 5-foot crevice between the formations, but some fall into the crevice trying to jump back, WCPO reports.
“People tend to cross over those barriers and try to jump out onto the chimney and, when you do that and try to jump back up, there is a little difference in height and they often don’t get back up,” May said.
“We’ve not had any survivors since I’ve been on the team that have fallen in that area just because the cliff is so high. Before that time it is my understanding there has been only one survivor and multiple fatalities,” he said.
May said it took crews from Wolfe, Powell and Meinfee counties until 6 a.m. to recover Mr. Lazor’s body.
“We sent a paramedic down into the crack first to try and locate the subject…the base of that crack was about 100 feet, we didn’t find him,” May said. “We did see evidence that he had gone down into that crack and then slid out the other side and fell another 100 feet to the bottom of the cliff.”
Keith Dailey, director of corporate communications for Kroger, gave the following statement after Mr. Lazor’s name was released:
“The entire Kroger family is heartbroken by the tragic loss of Jason Lazor. He was a well-respected colleague and a friend to countless associates. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jason’s family, friends and colleagues.”
Mr. Lazor was a 1997 graduate of Lakeview High School and a 2002 graduate of Miami University. He was preceded in death by his father, Eugene Lazor; and his grandparents Michael and Margaret Lazor. He is survived by his wife, Anna, who is expecting the couple’s first child; his mother, Evelyn Lazor; sister, Emily Lazor; grandparents, Bernard and Zenobia Williams; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Visitation will be held from 2-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, followed by a memorial service at the Gwen Mooney Funeral Home at 4389 Spring Grove Avenue in Cincinnati. Memorial contributions can be given to the Fisher House, a charity which supports veterans and their families.