A woman who jumped near the edge of a cliff so that her husband could snap a thrilling photograph fell over the edge and plummeted 500 feet to her death.
The incident took place on Dec. 2. in Cape Town, South Africa, at Chapman’s Peak Drive.
Jolandi le Roux was celebrating her 31st birthday with her husband Andrew at the popular spot.
The National Sea Rescue Institute responded to the scene after witnesses called in and other groups responded, including The Western Cape’s emergency medical services ambulance squad.
“On arrival on the scene, it was found that a woman from Sea Point had slipped and fallen over the edge at Lookout Point. She was celebrating her birthday with her family,” Craig Lambinon, spokesman for the institute, told News 24.
A sign at the scene states: “CAUTION! Strong winds and steep cliffs. Please stay behind the fence at all times.”
Entilini Operations, which oversees Chapman’s Peak Drive, said the death highlights the need for visitors to be vigilant while enjoying the view.
“Incidents like these will highlight the need for all [visitors] to be extra careful wherever they travel and, most importantly, to take note [of] signage placed in dangerous areas and [to] obey the rules at all times,” said Entilini general manager Mark Jacobs.
Husband Rushes Down
After the fall, husband Andrew le Roux scrambled some 100 meters down the treacherous mountainside.
But the experienced trail runner was unable to reach his wife’s body, which was hanging from a dead tree at the bottom of a gully.
It took rescuers over three hours to reach the spot due to the terrain, and three additional hours to carry her body out.
“He risked his life trying to reach his wife but couldn’t. It was heartbreaking but it would have been suicide to go any further,” Henry Barlow, a paramedic and the first rescuer on the scene, told The Sun. “It was just cliffs and a 60-meter drop to the rocks and sea below us.”
“It is not a nice place to be. The whole mountain is falling apart, literally,” added Matthew Young, 33, a rock climber and doctor who helped retrieve the body. “It’s ancient crumbling sandstone that breaks off easily.”
The young couple was married on the beach below the cliffs last year.
“It’s by no means inspiring. Especially in the dark when all you’ve got is a headlamp. Rocks were falling all around me. One of them was as big as a car engine. So we decided to swing me across to the other cliff side.”
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal. Please join us for a memorial service…
Jolandi’s brother, Jacques de Villiers, was among those posting tributes after news of her death spread.
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal,” he wrote on Facebook.
A number of people left comments remembering Jolandi.
“I heard the news this morning and couldn’t believe it,” said Joel Bronkowski. “I am so sorry. My thoughts and deepest sorrows are with you and your family. Your sister was an amazing person and will be missed!”
“I’m in complete shock…….I can’t believe what I’m reading……I’m so sorry for your loss,” added Anabel Faria-Barata. “What a BEAUTIFUL soul Jolandi was. My sincere condolences to your whole family.”