April 8, 2013
The Nelson County Sheriff's Department has confirmed that a female student from Liberty University has died after falling at Crabtree Falls Monday night.
She was hiking with a group of other students, and investigators say she went off the trail.
Officials at the sheriff's department say the body was soon located. They worked for several hours to move the body back to the roadway. They are not yet releasing the victim's name, because her family has not yet been notified.
Officials say the student fell at about 5:30 p.m.
A woman who lives near the falls says some of the victim's fellow students came to her house seeking help.
"They were panicking," said Wanda Quick. "All they were telling me is that she had fallen and she was unconscious and she was behind a big boulder, that no one could get to her."
Investigators say the fall happened at Crabtree's Lower Falls. This death raises the death toll at Crabtree Falls to at least 28 people during the past several years.
In 2010, a photographer fell and died while trying to take a picture of the falls, and a University of Richmond law student died there in 2008.
"They get just a little too close to the edge," said Quick. "They try to get out on the rocks to take a better picture, and they just end up sliding. The rocks are slippery and they just end up going over."
There is a sign by the falls that warns hikers about staying on the trail.
Crabtree is touted as the highest waterfall in the United States east of the Mississippi River.