Kasey, 45, of Villa Rica, Georgia, apparently fell from a walkway near Dry Falls into the river, which has been higher than normal due to heavy rains. Rescue crews from Macon and Jackson counties as well as the City of Asheville Fire Department conducted the search with as many as 75 rescuers involved.
“Higher than average water conditions, gusty winds and near freezing temperatures made searching difficult,” said Robbie Forrester, Highlands Fire and Rescue assistant chief.
Highlands Fire and Rescue, Macon County EMS, and the U.S. Forest Service were dispatched to the area around noon Saturday, Jan. 9, when a male called and said one of his friends fell off the walkway and they lost sight of him. Rescuers quickly requested help from other Macon and Jackson County emergency service agencies as they attempted to locate the subject.
Due to dangerous water conditions and very rough terrain, the search was suspended at dark and resumed first thing Sunday morning. According to the incident report, Kasey didn’t fall off the main falls walkway but had jumped over the gate and then slipped off the falls.