Nevaeh Jade Newswanger 3 year old Pennsylvania girl swept 400ft to her death over waterfall at Whitewater Falls, North Carolina as parents sought to rescue her.
While beautiful to view from a safe distance, venturing out closer to the falls for any reason brings tremendous danger …’ these are the words of officials following the tragic death of a 3 year old girl swept to her death along a 400ft North Carolina waterfall during a weekend family outing.
In the days following Nevaeh Jade Newswanger‘s tragic death, the toddler’s parents have told how they desperately tried to rescue her.
The couple said they tried to grab her but ‘the current was so strong’ it dragged the toddler downstream around 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Police recovered the youngster’s body around 1 a.m. the next morning after it got ‘entrapped in an area of the waterfall,’ NBC news reported citing the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
Hiking trek gone wrong
Her parents posted on GoFundMe yesterday, writing: ‘We decided to go on a hike, we hiked up the trail to a river, above the waterfall.
‘Nevaeh was playing in the sand nearby and slipped and fell in the water. 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.
‘She is now our precious angel, so radiant in the presence of God. Her name is heaven spelled backward. She was truly a piece of heaven to all who knew her.’
The family had decided to go hiking as Keith Newswanger took a break from working on a construction site 25 miles away in Oconee County, South Carolina.
They called 911 when the tragedy struck and first responders from Jackson, Transylvania, Haywood, Henderson and Oconee County raced to the waterfall.
Stated the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office: ‘Just prior to night fall on Sunday, rescuers located the child deceased and entrapped in an area of the waterfall.’
Officers sent their condolences to the family on Monday and warned the public to be mindful while visiting the site.
Deadliest falls east of the Rockies
Sheriff Chip Hall said: ‘First and foremost our prayers are with the Newswanger Family as they grieve the loss of this precious young child.
‘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.
‘While beautiful to view from a safe distance, venturing out closer to the falls for any reason brings tremendous danger.
‘Always remain at a safe distance, follow safety precautions and warnings which are in place, and view waterfalls from designated viewing areas.’
Whitewater Falls, which sits on the border between North and South Carolina, is the highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains, with falls plunging 411 feet.
According to The Citizen Times, Whitewater Falls is more than 400 feet high and one of the tallest — and deadliest — falls east of the Rockies. The Times reported at least 15 people have died there since 1995.
In 2020, a rescue worker died falling down it while trying to rescue a 24-year-old man.
The fundraiser as of Tuesday afternoon had raised $5,810.
Nevaeh is survived by her parents, Keith and Sheri, and sister, Tania.