Man dies from injuries after falling in giraffe enclosure

profile photo
By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

On April 19, Kent County deputies responded to Deer Tracks Junction Adventure Park just after 3:30 p.m.

CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. — 27-year-old Tyler Powell, the son of the owner of Deer Tracks Junction, has passed away from his injuries after almost three weeks of fighting for his life in the hospital.

On April 19, Kent County deputies responded to just after 3:30 p.m. The initial report said Tyler was on a ladder in the giraffe enclosure when the giraffe hit the ladder, causing him to fall.

He was rushed to an area hospital with severe injuries. The family shared an update on Thursday that Tyler had passed away from his injuries.

Thank you all for your unceasing prayers over the past few weeks for our family. It has been humbling seeing all your…

Posted by Deer Tracks Junction Adventure Park on Thursday, May 9, 2024

Kelly Powell, the owner of Deer Tracks Junction and Tyler’s father, told 13 ON YOUR SIDE shortly after the incident that there were no animals in the enclosure at the time of the fall. 

A Facebook post made on the Deer Tracks Junction page last week provided some additional clarification, saying that they were uncertain what happened when Tyler was injured.

“What we do know is that Kelly and Tyler were working in the giraffe enclosure. The giraffe had been safely shifted to an empty enclosure prior to them entering. Tyler used a 6ft ladder to assist him in securing a 2×4,” the post read. “Kelly had turned away for a second and heard a loud noise. He turned around to see Tyler falling and he tried to catch him. As any parent knows, the fact that he failed to catch him and Tyler fell to the cement is a haunting memory.”

The post went on to say that there is always the possibility that large animals can cause harm “without even trying,” and that “every precaution” was taken prior to Kelly and Tyler entering the enclosure. 

“We are being very honest with the fact that we just don’t know what happened. Statements that were made at the time of the accident were said from shock, fear, and confusion that anyone would feel during a time like that,” it read. “Somehow, Tyler fell off the ladder, and that is all that we know.”

[embedded content]

►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.   

Have a news tip? Email, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.   

Watch 13 ON YOUR SIDE for free on RokuAmazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV and on your phone.

author photo
About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.