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News Franklin woman swept over waterfall

A woman was seriously injured after being swept over a short waterfall on Tuesday.

Stephanie Cookston, 18, of Franklin, was with three friends on the Highlands side of 'Bust Your Butt' Falls in a pool off the side of the Cullasaja River. Cookston approached a swift running current of the river near the edge of a short fall and was swept over.

Within minutes, more than 15 responders from Highlands Fire Department, Cullasaja Gorge Fire and Rescue, U.S. Forest Service and Macon County Sheriff's Office were on scene.

After nearly two hours, rescue crews were able to pull Cookston up from the falls and on to the Highlands Road using a winch at approximately 5:10 p.m. Cookston was flown to Mission Memorial Hospital in Asheville.

Cookston sustained several injuries to the left side of her body including her leg, a collapsed lung, fractured pelvis and sacrum. Photo by Davin Eldridge

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