Charlotte teen who fell from waterfall and died was trying to save sister

- A Charlotte teenager lost her life on the Fourth of July after she fell 125 feet from Rainbow Falls in Transylvania County.

H’Money Siu, 16, took heroic action right before her life was cut short. Authorities tell FOX 46 she and her sister were part of a group of roughly 25 people who were crossing the river. Su’s 11-year-old sister slipped, and would have gone over the edge, but the 16-year-old risked, and ultimately sacrificed, her own life to save that of her sisters’.

Katie Hall with North Carolina State Parks said H’Money Siu went over the falls at Gorges State Park in the Pisgah National Forest. The Lake Toxaway Volunteer Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service also responded. It took several hours to recover the body.

Thursday morning, news spread of her passing. Her friend, Alina Madsourivong, is still in shock, but wanted to let people know the world lost a good soul.

“She was just so young,” said Madsourivong. “She was a very bright girl. I don't know how this happened. She would reach out to anybody that she could be friends with. She was a very smart girl too.”

Authorities tell FOX 46 it took them four hours to locate Siu’s body. They say this is the second death at Rainbow Falls this year; both happened within the past two weeks. News outlets report there have been at least six deaths at waterfalls in western North Carolina this year.

Although there are no rules prohibiting people from going in the water, there are signs warning of the strong current.

Siu’s parents were not on the trip; nor were they home Thursday a friends and family members stopped by to pay their respects.

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