Elk River Falls

Emergency personnel were called in response to an incident at Elk River Falls on May 20 that resulted in the death and recovery of a body. The popular tourist location has been the site of several fatalities, including two deaths in 2018.

ELK PARK – Local attraction Elk River Falls claimed another drowning victim on Friday, May 20.

Avery County Sheriff’s Office identified the body as 53–year-old Philip Williams. Williams was with the outdoor group Frontier Health Recovery Services when the incident occurred.

ACSO reported that the group was taking part in swimming activities when emergency personnel was called. Avery County Sheriff’s Office and several emergency management officials were allocated to the incident.

Local EMS divers recovered the body after hours of searching. Sheriff Phillips notes that the cause of death is currently listed as drowning, and that no foul play is suspected at this time.

“At approximately 11:02 a.m. Friday morning the Linville Fire Department Dive Team responded to a swimmer missing in the water at the Elk River Falls. Unfortunately this mission turned into a recovery,” a May 21 press release from Linville Volunteer Fire Department stated. “After completing the mission, one of our rescue divers presented symptoms of a serious medical issue and after being assessed by medical personnel on scene was air lifted to a nearby medical facility. He is doing well and initial reports indicate he will make a full recovery.”

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