Bay Area Woman Dies after Being Swept Over Waterfall at Emerald Bay

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EL DORADO COUNTY — A Bay Area family is in mourning after losing a loved one to a tragic fall in Emerald Bay on Friday.

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office says Dina Stephanie Espinosa, who went by Stephanie, was swept over a waterfall and fell to her death.

FOX40 spoke with Espinosa’s brother, Nick Martinez, who said his sister leaves behind two teenage sons.

Eagle Falls was a place of comfort and serenity for Espinosa, who worked as an aesthetician.

“There couldn’t have been a better place for her to die and there couldn’t have been a worse way for her to die. So, it’s really, really bittersweet,” Martinez said.

The 35-year-old Bay Area native was taking in the views in Emerald Bay when she slipped and fell.

Her brother still couldn’t believe it on Sunday.

“World’s best sister,” Martinez stated. “Of eight siblings, she was the oldest. All of us, we considered her a mom. She raised a lot of us.”

As the family grieves her death, they also want to be clear about what really happened.

“She did everything she could for everybody. So, really, we want to set the record straight,” Martinez said.

When the North Tahoe Fire Protection Agency announced her death, they said that a young woman was taking photos when she fell.

“This is a sad reminder to be cautious when taking selfies,” the agency wrote.

“That was so far from the truth,” Martinez stated. “My sister was a very responsible, protective mother. She would never put her kids or herself in harm’s way.”

Martinez added that she didn’t even have her cell phone with her when she was swept away by the water.

He’s now praying that his sister is at peace and watching over their family now.

“She was very much a person that lived in the moment. Just be present in the moment and enjoy life. That’s exactly what she was doing at the time of her death,” Martinez said.

The family has started a GoFundMe to help cover funeral expenses.


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