New York: A travel-obsessed Indian couple, who plunged 800ft to their deaths after taking a selfie at a scenic cliff in California’s popular Yosemite National Park, were ‘intoxicated’ at the time of the incident, according to autopsy results.
Vishnu Viswanath, 29, and his wife, Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, both engineers, were ‘intoxicated with ethyl alcohol’ prior to falling 800 feet from Taft Point on October 25, but no drugs were present in their bodies, US media quoted the autopsy report as saying.
Ethyl alcohol is found in alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and hard liquor. Due to the condition of the bodies after the extreme fall, investigators were unable to accurately discern a specific level of intoxication, Andrea Stewart, Assistant Mariposa County Coroner said.
“All we can conclude is that they had been drinking and that they had alcohol in their systems. We don’t know how much,” Stewart was quoted as saying by Mercury News of San Jose.
The couple from Kerala died “of multiple injuries to the head, neck, chest and abdomen, sustained by a fall from a mountain,” the autopsy report said. The couple had been married since 2014. Both graduated in 2010 from the College of Engineering, Chengannur, Kerala. Viswanath was a software engineer with Cisco India at the company’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.
Moorthy and Viswanath – who showcased their adventure-seeking travels on Instagram – had set up a tripod at Taft Point before they fell down the side of a steep cliff. The tripod was later discovered on the edge of the overlook. Viswanath’s brother, Jishnu Viswanath said it appeared the couple died trying to take a photo.
Viswanath and his wife Moorthy, travelled the world documenting their trips to locales like the Grand Canyon, Paris, New York City, Niagara Falls, London, Big Sur and other scenic destinations. Just months before her tragic death, Moorthy had warned in an Instagram post the dangers of taking photographs on the edge of cliffs and atop skyscrapers.
She posted a picture of herself at the Grand Canyon, saying in the caption that “A lot of us including yours truly is a fan of daredevilry attempts of standing at the edge of cliffs. But did you know that wind gusts can be fatal? Is our life worth one photo?”
In an eerie coincidence, Moorthy appears in the selfie of another tourist couple at Taft Point, just minutes before she plummeted to her death.