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Wash. man flees police, falls 50-feet down waterfall

First responders were trying to talk the man down until he fell, striking objects as he tumbled off the cascade



By Matthew Esnayra
The Daily News

STELLA, Wash. — A 37-year-old Longview man was rushed to the hospital Sunday night after falling down a nearly 60-foot waterfall and suffered life-threatening injuries, according to Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue spokesperson Bryan Ditterick.

The incident occurred before 8 p.m., near Ocean Beach Highway and Stella Road.

Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office Chief Criminal Deputy Troy Brightbill said the unnamed man was disrupting traffic as he allegedly swung at passing cars and leaped in front of oncoming vehicles.

Brightbill said when Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived, the man ran onto private property and climbed up a waterfall.

After reaching about 50 feet up, the man started challenging deputies down below.

There were efforts to talk the man down, but according to Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue spokesperson Bryan Ditterick, at about 8:36 p.m., he fell, striking objects and suffering injuries as he tumbled off the cascade.

“Speaking with the deputies on scene, it appears he slipped,” Brightbill said.

Battalion Chief Matt Amos told The Daily News that Longview Fire was initially supposed to be part of the rescue effort, but instead established a landing zone for the Lifeflight helicopter to land.

The man was transported via Lifeflight to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. Brightbill said the man suffered life-threatening injuries as a result of the fall.

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