3-Year-Old Girl Dies After Being Swept Over 400ft Waterfall While Hiking With Family In North Carolina

3-Year-Old Girl Dies After Being Swept Over 400ft Waterfall While Hiking With Family In North Carolina

The incident took place when her family was visiting Whitewater Falls in North Carolina for a hiking trip.

A three-year-old girl died on Sunday while on a family hike in North Carolina after being swept over a waterfall. Nevaeh Jade Newswanger fell over Whitewater Falls in North Carolina after playing near a river upstream of the 411ft waterfall. Her parents said they desperately tried to get to her after she slipped and fell in, but the current was too strong. It dragged her downstream around 6 p.m. on Sunday, reports The Daily Mail.



"We desperately tried to rescue her but the current was so strong and it swept her down the river and over the falls where the angels caught her," her parents, Keith and Sheri Newswanger, said in a message on GoFundMe. "She is now our precious angel, so radiant in the presence of God," they added. "Her name is heaven spelled backwards. She was truly a piece of heaven to all who knew her." Jackson County Sheriff's Office said the child's body was found trapped in an area of the waterfall just before dark. They retrieved her body around 1 a.m. Monday morning. In a statement to PEOPLE, they added that emergency responders from five different counties were dispatched to help locate the toddler at the time of the accident.



The family, who are originally from Pennsylvania, had been residing in nearby Oconee County, South Carolina while working on a construction job. They had decided to go hiking as Keith Newswanger took a break from working on a construction site when the tragedy took place. "First and foremost our prayers are with the Newswanger family as they grieve the loss of this precious young child," Jackson County Sheriff Chip Hall said. "With the onset of spring weather we need to be reminded of the dangers associated with many scenic areas of the region such as waterfalls," he added. "While beautiful to view from a safe distance, venturing out closer to the falls for any reason brings tremendous danger. Always remain at a distance, follow safety precautions and warnings which are in place, and view waterfalls from designated viewing areas."



Whitewater Falls, which rests on the border between North and South Carolina, is the highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. The United States Department of Agriculture stated the waterfall has a 411-foot plunge. "The best views of the falls are from the two overlooks. However, some people venture off the trail to try for better views. Tragically, several of these people fell to their deaths or suffered serious injuries at Whitewater Falls," they warned. "Please stay on the trails."



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