The station 41NBC in Macon, Ga., is mourning news anchor Taylor Terrell, who was swept over a waterfall to her death the day before her 25th birthday. A US Forest Service spokeswoman says Terrell fell 160 feet over Rainbow Falls in Transylvania County, NC, on Thursday after she slipped on an algae-covered rock while wading, CBS reports. Transylvania County Chief Deputy Eddie Gunter tells the Macon Telegraph that Terrell was in a "real dangerous spot" that claims two to three lives every year. Terrell's is the seventh waterfall-related death this year, Gunter says, adding, "Transylvania County has a lot of waterfalls."
Terrell, an avid hiker, anchored 41NBC News at Daybreak and 41Today and had taken Friday off for her birthday. "To say that this loss is devastating for us here at 41NBC and to her family is an understatement," the station said Friday. "Taylor was scheduled to be off today to celebrate her 25th birthday. Instead, we're remembering her spirit, her optimism, and her work." The station's news director said in a statement: "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." The US Forest Service is investigating the death. (Read more North Carolina stories.)