Waterfall Accidents Plague Western North Carolina

Posted on Jul 23, 2009
According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, at least twelve people have been killed in falls from Western North Carolina waterfalls in the last seven years.

Just recently, a 14-year-old boy visiting the state to visit his grandparents fell 40 feet from the top of a waterfall to the rocks below, suffering head and neck injuries as well as several soft tissue injuries. The boy was wading in the water above the falls when he lost his footing and tumbled to the mouth of the falls and over the edge.

The young man, who suffered a concussion but who remained alert throughout his rescue, was rushed to Mission Hospital for treatment and has since been released. However, his story is not the only western NC waterfall injury this summer.  

This Sunday in Transylvania County, 21-year-old Gioia Holland of Marion, North Carolina, was on a day hike with several friends when she fell down a cascade waterfall outside of Highlands, NC. After tumbling down the popular North Carolina hiking destination, emergency workers brought her to a nearby hospital that discovered she had a broken jaw, a fractured ankle, missing teeth, a collapsed lung, and several deep cuts and contusions on her body. The woman is still hospitalized after undergoing a lengthy surgery. She is expected to recover.

These two waterfall accidents should remind North Carolina residents to remain extremely cautious when visiting natural wonders in the state's public lands and parks. One slip and fall on the rocks can send a person over the falls - and not all are as lucky as the two recent survivors.