Married Travel Bloggers Who Plunged To Their Deaths In Yosemite Were Intoxicated, Coroner Says

Vishnu Viswanath and Meenakshi Moorthy died last year after falling 800 feet in Yosemite National Park, months after warning their Instagram followers not to place themselves in dangerous situations in pursuit of the perfect photo.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

A couple who fell hundreds of feet to their deaths in Yosemite Park last year were intoxicated at the time, an autopsy has revealed.

Vishnu Viswanath and Meenakshi Moorthy, a married couple who ran a travel blog and Instagram page together, fell approximately 800 feet to their deaths from a steep area of Taft Point in October. While it is still unclear what led to the deaths of Viswanath, 29, and Moorthy, 30, a forensic pathologist at the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office has concluded that the couple had been drinking before they died, Mercury News reports.

Viswanath and Moorthy were both “intoxicated with ethyl alcohol” before the fall, and they died of “multiple injuries to the head, neck, chest and abdomen, sustained by a fall from a mountain,” according to a Jan. 4 report authored by Dr. Sung-Ook Baik and obtained by the outlet.

Ethyl alcohol is found in drinks like beer, whiskey, and brandy. Just how intoxicated the couple were before their deaths is still unknown, however.

Andrea Stewart, assistant Mariposa County coroner, told Mercury News that “we can only conclude that they had consumed alcohol but it is unknown to what level of intoxication.”

It's likely that they were in the process of taking photos, as park officials report that a tripod was found set up near the area where they are believed to have fallen, according to Mercury News.

The couple reportedly fell from an area of Yosemite Park known for its steep terrain. Portions of the area accessible to the public do not have railings, Scott Gediman, spokesperson for Yosemite National Park, told NBC’s Bay Area station in October.

Viswanath and Moorthy, married since 2014, ran the “Holidays and Happily Ever Afters” blog together, as well as an Instagram page of the same name boasting more than 26k followers. A post published more than six months before the couple's passing warned of the dangers of taking risky photos for social media.

[Photo: Instagram/Vishnu Viswanath/Meenakshi Moorthy]

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