A WOMAN crashed 500 meters off a cliff when she jumped to her husband's birthday photo.
Jolandi le Roux celebrated her 31st birthday high on the rocks of a picnic spot in Cape Town last Sunday night and wanted to take a shot as if she were jumping over the sun.
At Lookout Point, however, she lost her footing and fell – with her body in a dead tree at the bottom of a gutter.
Her panicked husband Andrew, 33, found a way to crawl 100 meters down the 100-meter mountain slope.
Rescuers say that the experienced trail runner managed to be about nine yards away from Jolandi's crumpled body, but not further.
Clear cliffs prevented him from reaching them – and it took more than three hours for rescuers to come to her.
Then they needed another three hours in the dark and rain to get their body to the summit.
Andrew and Jolandi had married on the beach in September last year and were often cycling in the area.
It is believed that the pair ignored warning signs to cross the protective barrier of metal railings that were designed to keep the public away from a sloping cliff of loose rocks and slippery gravel.
A sign reads: "Careful, strong winds and steep cliffs, please always stay behind the fence."
The first rescuer of the scene, paramedic Henry Barlow, 47, was shocked to see Andrew cling to the hillside as he desperately tried to reach his wife.
He said, "He risked his life trying to reach his wife, but he could not." It was heartbreaking, but it would have been suicide if it had gone further.
"It was just cliffs and a 60-meter drop to the rocks and the sea below."
Matthew Young, 33, an experienced climber and progressive trauma life coach, was assigned the job of getting Jolandi's body.
He said, "It is not a nice place. The whole mountain literally falls apart. It is ancient crumbling sandstone that breaks off easily.
"It's by no means inspiring, especially in the dark when you only have one headlight."
"Around me rocks fell everywhere. One of them was as big as a car engine. So we decided to throw myself on the other cliff. "
When he reached Jolandi, he could see she was dead – several head and body fractures had killed her as she plunged down the cliff.
Andrew said his wife had died, and the rescuers wanted to get her body, which took another two hours.
After Jolandi's body had been taken to the top of the cliff and placed in the hearse, her father heartbrokenly thanked the helpers for their efforts.
One added, "I thought that would be very brave of him, considering that the nightmare they were going through prevails.
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"The long night was worth it, because we do not get a thank you every day."
Tributes to Jolandi spilled on social media, where she was described as a "beautiful person" and an "incredible woman loved by many."
Another friend described her as "bubbly and lived life to the fullest".
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