Sheriff identifies Rainbow Falls victim as Georgia news anchor

(FILE) 41NBC News Anchor Taylor Terrell died after falling 185 feet off of Rainbow Falls. (Photo credit: WMGT Television)

TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY -- The woman who died after falling over a waterfall in Transylvania County was a Georgia news anchor, authorities confirm.

According to the Transylvania County sheriff, 41NBC News Anchor Taylor Terrell died after falling 185 feet off of Rainbow Falls. She would have turned 25 on Friday.

U.S. Forest Service said Terrell was wading in the stream that flows over Rainbow Falls on the Pisgah Ranger District when she lost her footing and was swept over the falls by the current.

"Hi, I'm at Rainbow Falls. My friend got caught by the current, and I don't know where she is, and I can't find her," said a caller into 911 on Thursday.

RELATED | Park rangers, experienced hikers warn of waterfall dangers

Lake Toxaway's Deputy Fire Chief Bobby Cooper said crews later recovered Taylor's body around 8:30 Thursday evening

Terrell's new station, 41NBC, released this statement regarding her death:

"Taylor was a hard worker with a bright smile. She rose through the ranks from intern to reporter, to weekend anchor, to morning anchor and was eager to prepare for her next chapter. This is a devastating loss for us here at 41NBC and most definitely for her family.
Taylor was scheduled to be off today to celebrate her 25th birthday. Instead, we're remembering her spirit, her optimism, and her work. She touched so many people through her stories, through interviews here at the station on Daybreak and 41Today, and through the people she met while working with different volunteer groups as she tried to make a difference in people's lives."

USFS says the best way to enjoy a waterfall is from a safe distance. They advise people to heed posted warning signs indicating danger and stay on established trails.

They also say to never climb on or around waterfalls and never play in the water above a waterfall as rocks can be slippery and it's easy to lose your balance, especially with bare feet.


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