UC Berkeley Law student slips, believed dead at Oregon waterfall

A U.C. Berkeley law student is believed to be dead after a slip-and-fall on Sunday while trying to snap a photograph of a waterfall at Toketee Falls in southern Oregon.

Emergency crews continue to search for the body of Brian Lewinstein, 23, who plunged down an embankment, off a cliff and into the water below at Umpqua National Forest, reported SFGate.

Authorities reportedly said Lewinstein crossed a safety fence in an attempt to get a close-up picture of the waterfall before the freak accident.

“My understanding is that it was a fatality. He fell a long distance into the water. It’s a pretty fast-moving stream. They’ve searched the river for him. If he were alive, I think they would have found him,” Umpqua National Forest spokeswoman Cheryl Caplan told the paper.

Lewinstein, who was on track to graduate in May 2020, according to his LinkedIn page, had recently interned in juvenile defense at the East Bay Community Law Center.

His supervisor over the summer, Tony Cheng, who serves as director of the center’s youth defender clinic, said that over the summer Lewinstein worked on a project aimed at reforming juvenile court policies on fees and fines.

He was very interested in pursuing a career working with youth in the future,” recalled Cheng, who described the young law student as a congenial young man who made a lot of friends.

“He really seemed like he wanted to help people,” Cheng said.

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