A foreign traveler died after a serious accident on the Steinholtsá River en route to the highlands on Friday afternoon, RÚV reports. The deceased woman is survived by her husband, who was traveling with her at the time of the accident.
Police, ICE-SAR, paramedics, and the Coast Guard’s helicopter were called to the scene of the accident around 3:00 PM on Friday. The couple, who were visiting from the US, were on their way to Þórsmörk in the Icelandic highlands and had attempted to ford the Steinsholtsá river in their vehicle. The river was running very high, however, and their vehicle got stuck, flooded, and was pulled downstream. They attempted to get out and the man was able to reach the far bank, but the woman slipped in the river.
After further investigation into the incident, South Iceland police reported that the woman was pulled 650 meters [close to half a mile] downriver by the current before washing onto a small island in the middle. There were no witnesses to the accident itself, but those on site afterwards reported that she appeared to be unconscious. When rescuers arrived on the scene, they had to reach the woman on the island mid-river, where she’d gotten stuck. She was then transported via helicopter to the hospital in Reykjavík where she was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Police have not yet taken a statement from the woman’s husband, but report that he had not been injured in the accident.