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Florida teen dies in fall at South Carolina waterfall

Laurel Falls
Laurel Falls (National Park Service image by Mike Baker)

SUNSET, S.C. – A 14-year-old Florida boy has died after falling from the top of a waterfall in South Carolina, authorities said.

Isaiah Oertel fell 75 feet (23 meters) off the Laurel Fork Falls on the Foothills Trail in Pickens County on Monday evening, investigators said.

Emergency responders said Oertel was dead by the time they reached the teen at the bottom of the falls.

Oertel, a resident of North Port, Florida, was the second person to die at the waterfall in 2020. A 25-year-old woman from Simpsonville, South Carolina, was camping with friends in March when she fell from the top of the falls, authorities said.

County deputies and state police are investigating Oertel's death.

The waterfall is located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) northwest of Greenville.