Authorities on Thursday recovered the body of Brian Lewinstein, the rising second-year student at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law who slipped and fell last month while photographing a waterfall in Oregon.
According to local police, hikers on Thursday spotted Lewinstein’s body in one pf the pools below Toketee Falls, which is located in Southern Oregon. A search and rescue team rappelled down the falls and recovered his body that night.
Lewinstein, 23, was on a road trip up the West Coast before classes resumed in the fall when he stopped at Toketee Falls on Aug. 12. He was taking pictures at the top of the 120-foot falls when he stepped over a safety fence, slipped and fell down a steep embankment. Crews searched for him for days without success. The Douglas County Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified Lewinstein and notified his family, according to police.
“We are glad that we were able to provide his family with some answers and sincerely hope that they are able to find some comfort in the fact that he was located. Our heartfelt thoughts go out to his family and friends,” said Sgt. Brad O’Dell with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Lewinstein was presumed dead in the days following the accident, and the Berkeley Law community mourned while recalling the man who aspired to become a public interest attorney. The school made counselors available to students.
Meanwhile, Equal Justice America, a nonprofit organization that funds fellowships for law students who work in civil legal services, has established a scholarship fund in his honor. Lewinstein was an Equal Justice American Fellow this summer, working in the East Bay Community Law Center where he represented students at risk of entering the juvenile justice system. Thus far, donors have raised nearly $15,000 in his honor.