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12th Apr 2022

US toddler dies after falling from waterfall on family day out

Laura Grainger

She slipped and fell into the river.

A three-year-old girl has died in the US after falling from a waterfall she was visiting with her family.

Nevaeh Jade Newswanger, from Pennsylvania, and her family were visiting Whitewater Falls in North Carolina on Sunday evening when she was swept away by the current and brought over the waterfall.

Her parents said Nevaeh had been playing in the sand at a river the family had hiked up to above the fall.

According to a GoFundMe set up to help with funeral costs, the toddler slipped and fell into the water. The current was so strong that it swept her down over the falls, despite her parents’ best efforts to save her.

Emergency responders arrived at the scene and attempted to locate the girl after receiving a call at around 5.50 PM.

“Just prior to night fall on Sunday rescuers located the child deceased and entrapped in an area of the waterfall,” the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Recovery efforts went on throughout the night until the child was recovered around 1 AM Monday morning, authorities said.

According to NBC, Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Rockies with a plunge of 411 feet. It is not known how far Nevaeh fell.

“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 in the statement. “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.”

The sheriff also urged visitors to be vigilant in keeping a safe distance, following safety precautions and remaining in designated viewing areas when visiting scenic nature areas.

On the GoFundMe page, her parents spoke about how Nevaeh is now their “precious angel”.

“Her name is heaven spelled backwards,” they said. “She was truly a piece of heaven to all who knew her.”