Hiker fell taking photo atop North Carolina waterfall, officials say

Hiker fell taking photo atop North Carolina waterfall, officials say

POLK COUNTY, N.C. — Authorities in North Carolina have identified a hiker who fell from a waterfall and died over the weekend.

Polk County Emergency Management Director Bobby Arledge confirmed that 28-year-old Aaron Post of South Carolina died after sliding down Big Bradley Falls on Saturday.

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Arledge said he heard the hiker was taking a photo at the top of the remote Saluda, North Carolina, spot when he lost his balance and tumbled down.

In a Facebook post Saturday, the Henderson County Rescue Squad said they extracted Post from a rugged area and flew him in a helicopter to a hospital.

A fellow hiker told WLOS he witnessed Post's fall from the top of Big Bradley. He said Post slid down the rock face and into the water.

"I turned around, and I just watched him slide down the waterfall," George Hugg, the hiker's friend, said.

Officials said the rough terrain and trail erosion made the rescue effort even more difficult.

Arledge said more than 50 rescuers were called to the scene and some had to rappel to the base of the falls to rescue Post.

Arledge said crews used a Blackhawk helicopter to drop a basket to rescuers on the ground. Then, they lifted Post up and out of the woods.

Officials said there are warning signs of the danger at Big Bradley and safety barriers have been discussed, but have not been installed.

Hiking websites say the waterfall drops 75 feet.

News outlets reported in 2017 that a 47-year-old hiker died in a fall at the same spot.