A 22-year-old man from Chapel Hill fell to his death at a waterfall in Western North Carolina on Saturday afternoon.
James Karpinos, a senior at UNC-Asheville, died when he lost his footing at the top of Windy Falls and fell into the Horsepasture River in Transylvania County, said Capt. Brian Cash of Lake Toxaway Fire and Rescue.
Cash said hikers are advised to use caution but are permitted to hike along the top of the 300-foot waterfall. He wasn’t sure whether an intermittent drizzling rain contributed to Karpinos’s fall.
“There’s somewhat of a trail. It’s not perfect and it’s not great. It’s some rough terrain in there for sure,” Cash said.
Karpinos’s body was recovered from the water by divers Sunday afternoon.
Karpinos, a sociology major, was well-known on campus as an experienced outdoorsman and a trip leader for his university’s outdoors program, according to a statement released by the school.
He was the son of Ralph and Carolyn Karpinos of Chapel Hill. Ralph Karpinos is the Chapel Hill Town Attorney.
A service will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at University Presbyterian Church, 209 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill.
Donations may be made to the UNC Asheville Foundation to benefit the UNC-A Outdoors Program or the Student Global AIDS campaign. Please designate which organization and send donations to UNC Asheville Foundation, UNC-Asheville, CPO #800, Asheville, NC 28804.