Couple in Yosemite Death Plunge were Intoxicated: Report


Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, left, and her husband, Vishnu Viswanath, 29, were avid travelers who died in October at Yosemite National Park. (Facebook)

Yosemite: A couple who died in October after falling from a popular scenic overlook at Yosemite National Park in California were intoxicated at the time, according to autopsy results.

Vishnu Viswanath, 29, and his wife, Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, were found to have ethyl alcohol in their systems prior to falling 800 feet from Taft Point on Oct. 25, the results show. The substance is found in beer, wine and other drinks.

The couple – who were both born in India and living in the U.S. – died of “multiple injuries to the head, neck, chest and abdomen, sustained by a fall from a mountain,” Dr. Sung-Ook Baik, a forensic pathologist in the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office, wrote in a Jan. 4 report, reports said.

Viswanath and Moorthy were “intoxicated with ethyl alcohol prior to death,” Baik wrote.

Viswanath’s brother, Jishnu Viswanath, told the Associated Press the couple were setting up a tripod-mounted camera near the ledge of Taft Point on Oct. 23. An inquiry into how the couple fell is ongoing.

“Any deaths that happen inside the park, the National Park Service rangers do the investigation of the accident itself,” Kristie Mitchell, a spokeswoman for the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office, told the Mercury News of San Jose. “As far as what led up to it, that’s done by the National Park Service.”

The travel-obsessed couple detailed their lives in a now-deactivated travel blog called “Holidays and Happily Ever Afters,” where they wrote about vacations and posted photos of themselves in locales around the world.