Upstate dad killed in slip off waterfall; child injured trying to reach him

(Photo: WYFF)
(Photo: WYFF)

GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (WYFF) - An Upstate father died while hiking with his daughter, according to the Greenville County Coroner's Office.

Deputy Coroner Kent Dill said Mark N. Jones, 44, was hiking with his 5-year-old daughter Sunday afternoon as they did frequently.

Dill said Jones slipped over the edge and fell off the top of Wildcat Branch Falls.

Dill said Jones fell an estimated 80 to 100 feet. He was airlifted to the hospital and died during surgery.

Authorities told News 4 that Jones' daughter tried to climb down to help her father, and she fell and suffered head injuries and possibly some broken bones.

She is being treated at Greenville Memorial Hospital, and is expected to survive her injuries.

Dill said, "Mr. Jones had just texted his wife a few minutes before this happened to talk about how good the day was going, how good the weather was, how beautiful the trail was and how proud he was of his 5-year-old daughter for how good she was doing on the hike. Right after that, he went to the top of the falls and we can only guess what happened."

The falls are a popular destination. Other hikers on the trail called for help after Jones and his daughter were injured.

Dill said several people have been killed at Wildcat Branch Falls over the years. Another man died at the falls within the past six months.

The Greenville County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

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