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A Pennsylvania girl has died after she was swept away by a waterfall while vacationing with her family in North Carolina.
Three-year-old Nevaeh Jade Newswanger was swept up at the top of Whitewater Falls shortly before 6 p.m. m. Sunday, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said.
After the girl was swept away by the current, her desperate parents called 911 and first responders from Jackson, Transylvania, Haywood, Henderson and Oconee County arrived on the scene.
“Just before sundown Sunday, rescuers located the boy dead and trapped in an area of the waterfall,” the sheriff’s office said in the statement.
Nevaeh’s body was recovered around 1 a.m. m. of Monday.
The girl had been temporarily residing with her family in Oconee County, just 25 miles south of Whitewater Falls, local news station WMBF reported.
The Newswangers, from Denver, Pennsylvania, were visiting the state for work.
On Monday, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office sent condolences to the family and warned the public to be careful when visiting the waterfall.
“First and foremost, our prayers are with the Newswanger family as they mourn the loss of this precious child,” Jackson County Sheriff Chip Hall said in the statement.
“With the onset of spring weather, we must remember the dangers associated with many scenic areas in the region, such as waterfalls.”
Whitewater Falls is the tallest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains
Whitewater Falls is the tallest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains, dropping 411 feet. It is located on the border between North Carolina and South Carolina.
“While it’s beautiful to see from a safe distance, venturing closer to the falls for any reason carries tremendous danger,” said Hall.
“Always remain a safe distance, follow current safety precautions and warnings, and view the waterfalls from designated viewing areas.”
More than a dozen people have died in the waterfall in the last three decades. Before Sunday’s tragedy, a member of a rescue team died after falling over the waterfall in 2020 while trying to rescue a 24-year-old man.
Nevaeh Jade Newswanger Quick and Facts
- Nevaeh Jade Newswanger, 3, was washed away at the top of Whitewater Falls shortly before 6pm on Sunday, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said
- After the little girl was carried over the falls by the current, her desperate parents called 911 and first responders arrived to the scene
- Her body was found just before dark on Sunday and recovered at 1am Monday
- On Monday, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office sent their condolences to the family and warned the public to be mindful while visiting the waterfall