On Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 5:50pm the Jackson County Emergency Management 911 Center received a call reporting a 3-year old child, visiting Whitewater Falls with her family, had been swept away in the water at the top of the falls and the current had carried the child over the falls. Emergency responders from Jackson, Transylvania, Haywood, Henderson, and Oconee counties were dispatched to the falls and rescue operations to locate the child were initiated. Just prior to night fall on Sunday rescuers located the child deceased and entrapped in an area of the water fall. Recovery operations throughout the night and early morning led to the child being recovered from the waterfall around 1:00am on Monday, April 11, 2022.
The child has been identified as Nevaeh Jade Newswanger, age 3, of Denver, Pennsylvania. The Newswanger family has been residing in Oconee County, South Carolina while working in the area. Jackson County Sheriff Chip Hall offers his condolences for the family and cautions others about the dangers associated with visits to scenic areas such as Whitewater Falls. “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 distance, follow safety precautions and warnings which are in place, and view waterfalls from designated viewing areas.”