Local morning news anchor Taylor Terrell died Thursday after falling from the peak of a waterfall in North Carolina on the evening before her 25th birthday, officials said.
Terrell, of Conyers, anchored 41NBC News at Daybreak and 41Today.
“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,” News Director Brandon Long wrote in an email to The Telegraph.
“This is a devastating loss for us here at 41NBC and most definitely for her family.”
In celebration of her birthday Friday, Terrell and a friend visited Rainbow Falls, a 150-foot-tall waterfall in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, Transylvania County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Eddie Gunter said.
“It’s a real dangerous spot,” Gunter said. “We usually have about two to three waterfall deaths up there every year. …. That was the seventh (waterfall-related death) we’ve had in our county this year. Transylvania County has a lot of waterfalls.”
The investigation is being handled by the U.S. Forest Service, said Cathy Dowd, a forest service public affairs officer.
Terrell “was wading in the river near the top of the falls (when) she lost her footing and fell into the water where the current swept her up and over the falls,” Dowd said. “Her body was recovered at the base of the falls.”
Terrell joined 41NBC in 2013. She is a graduate of Georgia Southern University, according to a biography on the station’s website.
Information about funeral arrangements was not immediately available.