Missouri man drowns at popular local waterfall recreation site

Published 8:31 am Thursday, July 5, 2018

A 25-year-old man visiting the area from out of state drowned Monday afternoon at a popular local waterfall according to the Carter County Sheriff’s Office.

CCSO Public Information Officer Thomas Gray identified the deceased as Keith Massey, age 25, of St. Louis, Missouri.

Massey’s body was taken for an autopsy, but Gray said there was no indication of suspicious circumstances regarding the man’s death.

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Around 3 p.m. on Monday, Carter County 911 received a call from officials in Avery County, N.C., reporting they had received a call that a man had gone into the water at Twisting Falls and had not resurfaced. In addition to the Carter County Sheriff’s Office, members of the Carter County Rescue Squad’s Technical Rescue Team were dispatched to the call.

Twisting Falls is a popular recreation site along the Elk River near the border between Carter County and Avery County, N.C. The falls are located in a remote area which requires those visiting the falls to hike through the rough and steep terrain.

CCRS Rescue Coordinator John Burleson said members of the Tech Team were on the mission to recover Massey’s body for about eight hours. Burleson said the team used divers to locate and recover Massey’s body from the pool beneath the waterfall.

According to Burleson, Massey was at Twisting Falls with a group of people. Burleson said the man jumped from the top of the waterfall into the pool below, came up once and then dropped back below the water and never resurfaced.