An Indian couple who plunged to their death from a popular overlook in Yosemite National Park was trying to take a risky selfie at the time of the accident, family members said this week. It is now the second time in just a few weeks that an attempted selfie has led to death in the famed park.
Park rangers this week recovered the bodies of 29-year-old Vishnu Viswanath and 30-year-old Meenakshi Moorthy, a husband and wife from India who had fallen to their deaths about 800 feet below the popular Taft Point. As the New York Post reported, visitors to the park found a camera the next day and told park rangers, who found the camera along with the bodies of the couple.
Fellow hikers had recalled seeing the couple in the park, saying Meenakshi stood out because of her bright pink hair. Some said they were nervous that the two were standing too close to the edge.
“She was very close to the edge, but it looked like she was enjoying herself,” hiker Sean Matteson told the New York Post. “She gave me the willies. There aren’t any railings. I was not about to get that close to the edge. But she seemed comfortable. She didn’t seem like she was in distress or anything.”
There were about 10 other tourists near the overlook at the time, and Matteson said the couple disappeared as dusk fell on the park. None of the other hikers saw the couple’s fatal fall.
This is now the second time in just a matter of weeks that a foreigner has died while taking a selfie in Yosemite National Park. In early September, a teenager from Israel died while trying to take a selfie on Nevada Fall, which like Taft Point has a drop of more than 800 feet.
Family later identified the deceased hiker as Tomer Frankfurter, who the Times of Israel reported was an Israeli national visiting the park. The teen’s mother said he slipped while trying to take a picture of the iconic cliff.
Ironically, the Indian couple who died taking a selfie at Yosemite National Park had warned about staying careful in dangerous locations. As the New York Post reported, Moorthy shared a picture of herself sitting at the edge of the Grand Canyon and the caption, “A lot of us including yours truly is a fan of daredevilry attempts of standing at the edge of cliffs and skyscrapers, but did you know that wind gusts can be FATAL??? Is our life just worth one photo?”