Corbett, Ore. — Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office has provided an update on the hiking death that occurred at Multnomah Falls on July 1. The deceased hiker has been identified as 41-year-old Gerardo Hernandez-Rodriguez. The family has requested privacy and does not wish to be contacted by the media.
According to witnesses, Hernandez was hiking on the trail beyond the Benson Bridge near the first switchback at around 1:30 p.m. when he stumbled and fell down an embankment. The witnesses lost sight of him, prompting a search by sheriff’s deputies and a U.S. Forest Service ranger. Due to the steep and inaccessible terrain, a drone from the Gresham Police Department was deployed, and Corbett firefighters prepared for rappelling.
During these search efforts, a sheriff’s deputy discovered Hernandez’s body at the base of the cliff on the south side of Historic Columbia River Highway, directly below where the fall occurred. Sadly, Hernandez did not survive the fall.
Initially believed to have fallen approximately 100-150 feet, further investigation revealed that Hernandez fell nearly 200 feet. It is suspected that alcohol impairment may have played a role in the accident.
In light of this incident, a public safety message has been issued to encourage preparedness and caution for those visiting the Columbia River Gorge. Hikers are advised to familiarize themselves with the trail or destination, wear appropriate footwear, and pack the ten essentials. It is also important to stay aware of surroundings, watch where one steps, and keep children within reach.
The ten essentials for hiking include navigation tools, headlamp or flashlight, sun protection items, first aid supplies, a knife and gear repair kit, fire-starting materials, emergency shelter, extra food, extra water, and additional clothing.