According to a report by CBS News, a man who was a father to five children tragically died while hiking in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office stated that Geraldo Hernandez-Rodriguez, a 41-year-old resident of Beaverton, fell approximately 200 feet last weekend. He was hiking with his wife and children on a popular trail close to Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon.
The sheriff’s office explained that Hernandez-Rodriguez stumbled and fell from a switchback near the Benson Bridge, which is located in the vicinity of the falls. In response, a Forest Service ranger and sheriff’s deputies initiated a search in the area. Additionally, a drone from a nearby police department was deployed to survey the steep and inaccessible regions that couldn’t be explored on foot.
Hernandez-Rodriguez’s body was found by a sheriff’s deputy at the bottom of a cliff just beneath the location where he had slipped. Unfortunately, he did not survive the fall, as confirmed by the sheriff’s office. In their statement, the sheriff’s office mentioned that it is probable that alcohol played a role in the incident.
Initially, it was believed that Hernandez-Rodriguez fell a distance of approximately 100 to 150 feet. However, following a more extensive investigation, the sheriff’s office revised their assessment and determined that the fall was closer to 200 feet.
The US Forest Service reports that Multnomah Falls, located in the Pacific Northwest, receives more than 2 million visitors annually, making it the most popular natural recreational spot in the region.
CBS News reported that in August 2022, a woman lost her life in a similar incident to Hernandez-Rodriguez’s. She fell 100 feet from the same location.
The sheriff’s office emphasized the importance of hikers in the Columbia River Gorge being prepared before embarking on their journey. They advised individuals to familiarize themselves with the trail prior to leaving home, wear appropriate hiking footwear, be attentive to their children, and carefully watch their step while hiking.