Vishnu Viswanath, 29, and Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, fell to their tragic deaths from Taft Point in Yosemite National Park on October 25, reportedly while attempting to take a selfie. They were a married couple from India living in the United States.
On January 24, 2019, according to the US media, an autopsy report stated that the couple was 'intoxicated with ethyl alcohol' prior to falling 800 feet from Taft Point on October 25, but no drugs were present in their bodies. Ethyl alcohol is found in alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and hard liquor. Due to the condition of the bodies after the extreme fall, investigators were unable to accurately discern a specific level of intoxication, Andrea Stewart, Assistant Mariposa County Coroner said.
According to media reports, Vishnu Viswanath and Meenakshi Moorthy fell 800 feet down to their deaths in an area with steep terrain in California's Yosemite National Park.
Park rangers recovered their bodies after people reported seeing an unattended camera on a tripod, Viswanath's brother said. He added that Meenakshi Moorthy had set up the tripod by the ledge possibly to take a selfie. Rangers had arrived at the scene and "used high-powered binoculars to find them and used helicopters to airlift the bodies
Meenakshi Moorthy had posted a picture of herself at the Grand Canyon, saying in the caption that "A lot of us including yours truly is a fan of daredevilry attempts of standing at the edge of cliffs. But did you know that wind gusts can be fatal? Is our life worth one photo?
In an eerie coincidence, Meenakshi Moorthy appeared in the selfie of another tourist couple at Taft Point, just minutes before she plummeted to her death. After reports of the couple's death emerged and their identities were revealed, fellow traveller Sean Matteson said that Meenakshi Moorthy was seen in two of the selfie photos that they took at the popular tourist destination
Sean Matteson said Meenakshi Moorthy's pink-haired visage appeared in the corner of two photos he snapped of himself and his girlfriend Drea Rose Laguillo. He said the woman made him a little nervous because he felt she was standing too close to the edge. But he said she appeared comfortable
Meenakshi Moorthy and Vishnu Viswanath through their social media posts chronicled their adventures, also maintained a blog called 'Holidays and HappilyEverAfters'. Just months before her tragic death, Meenakshi Moorthy in an Instagram post had pointed out the dangers of taking photographs on the edge of cliffs and atop skyscrapers. "A lot of us including yours truly is a fan of daredevilry attempts of standing at the edge of cliffs and skyscrapers," they wrote in an Instagram post in March from the rim of the Grand Canyon, "but did you know that wind gusts can be fatal??? Is our life just worth one photo?"
After the tragic incident took place, Yosemite National Park spokesman Jamie Richards was quoted saying that "We still do not know what caused them to fall. We're trying to understand what happened. We may never know, (but) from everything we see, this was a tragic fall."
Jamie Richards added, "Yosemite is a wild and scenic place. If you are not paying attention to your footing, it is very easy to have a slip and fall. Now, we don't know what happened in this case, but we urge hikers to stay on the trail."
Another Park spokesman Jamie Richards said that so far 10 people have died in the park this year, and six of those park visitors fell to their deaths. In May, Asish Penugonda, a 29-year-old Indian national, fell to his death while ascending the park's famous Half Dome trail
Yosemite National Park is located in Central California, and it is a designated World Heritage Site. The park is a popular tourist destination, famous for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, meadows, glaciers, and biological diversity.
Vishnu Viswanath and Meenakshi Moorthy, both software engineers, were from India and were living in the US. They had recently moved from New York after Viswanath took a job as a systems engineer at Cisco Systems Inc., based in San Jose
In a Facebook post, College of Engineering, Chengannur said the two were its alumni and added that it deeply mourns their "accidental demise". The college said Vishnu Viswanath and Meenakshi Moorthy belonged to the BTech 2006-10 Computer Science and Engineering batch
College of Engineering, Chengannur expressed their condolences. "Our hearts go to the friends and family members of this lovely couple. May their souls rest in peace,' the college said
Raj Katta, 24, of New York, said he got to know both of them while attending Bradley University, in Illinois. He said Vishnu Viswanath was a "thoughtful and amazing guy, very talented. They were a really happy couple. Very positive."
Raj Katta described Meenakshi Moorthy as extremely positive and enthusiastic. "She's one of those girls who wanted to explore the world and discover a deeper meaning in life."
Raj Katta added, "They liked to travel and take pictures... They were really into this stuff," Katta said, adding that he was "certain it was a tragic accident, not a suicide".
In a tragic incident on October 25, 2018, an Indian couple identified as Vishnu Viswanath, 29, and Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, died after falling 800 feet in California's Yosemite National Park. On January 24, 2019, an autopsy report suggested that the couple had been drinking before they fell to their deaths. Here's a look at their story in pictures. (All pictures/Holidays and HappilyEverAfters Instagram account)
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