MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OR - The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office is reporting that: The hiker that died at Multnomah Falls on Saturday, July 1, 2023 has been identified.
The victim is identified as 41-year-old Gerardo Hernandez-Rodriguez. The family does not want to be contacted by the media and is requesting privacy.
According to witnesses, around 1:30 p.m., Hernandez was hiking on the trail beyond the Benson Bridge near the first switchback when he stumbled and fell down an embankment. The witnesses reported losing sight of Hernandez. Sheriff’s deputies joined a U.S. Forest Service ranger in a search of the area. Because of the inaccessible, steep terrain, first responders called for a drone used by the Gresham Police Department, while Corbett firefighters prepared to rappel from the trail.
While these efforts were getting underway, a sheriff’s deputy searched the base of the cliff on the south side of Historic Columbia River Highway. Off the road, directly below where the fall occurred, the deputy located Hernandez. He did not survive the fall.
It was initially believed Hernandez fell approximately 100-150 feet. After further investigation, it is estimated that Hernandez fell nearly 200 feet. It is believed that alcohol impairment was likely a contributing factor in the fall.
The following is a public safety message:
We encourage all who come to hike and explore the Columbia River Gorge to be prepared. Before leaving home, learn more about the hiking trail or destination, consider footwear and pack the ten essentials. On the trail, be aware of your surroundings, watch where you step and keep children in reach.
Ten Essentials for hiking:
- Navigation: map, compass, altimeter, GPS device, personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite messenger
- Headlamp or flashlight: plus, extra batteries
- Sun protection: sunglasses, sun-protective clothes and sunscreen
- First aid: including foot care and insect repellent (as needed)
- Knife: plus, a gear repair kit
- Fire: matches, lighter, tinder and/or stove
- Shelter: carried at all times, (can be a light emergency bivy)
- Extra food: Beyond the minimum expectation
- Extra water: Beyond the minimum expectation
- Extra clothes: Beyond the minimum expectation
Image Courtesy: Corbett Fire District 14, preparing rope rescue equipment on the Multnomah Falls trail