Mother of teen rescued after 150-foot fall in Gorge: 'He’s very - KPTV - FOX 12

Mother of teen rescued after 150-foot fall in Gorge: 'He’s very lucky'

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Photo taken by Brittaney Long. Photo taken by Brittaney Long.

The mother and stepfather of Kole Snuggerud say their son is very lucky, after he slipped off a rock face in the Columbia River Gorge and tumbled at least 150 feet down.

“I feel blessed. Just blessed,” Kole’s mother, Erica McKloy, told Fox 12. “It’s the best outcome of a bad situation, he’s very lucky.”

The 16-year-old was hiking with friends from his Centennial High School track team at Angel’s Rest, near Multnomah Falls.

A friend even captured cell phone video of Snuggerud climbing on the rocks a minute or two before he fell.

“According to the gal who actually witnessed it, which is one of his school mates, [she] said his foot slipped, and she saw him grab – and then his hands disappeared,” his mother added.

Rescuers estimate he tumbled down 150-200 feet, landing on a dirt trail in a small clearing. He broke his hip on the way down and temporarily lost consciousness; then, his friends said, he was screaming.

Luckily, off-duty paramedics were in the area who saw him fall and rushed in to help.

“Those people stayed with him for five hours,” his stepfather, Mark McKloy, said. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful act.”

A couple of friends he’d been with slid down the hill to reach him.  One of them had a phone, allowing Mark to speak directly with Kole.

“He said, ‘I hurt, I hurt all over,’ but he knew it was his right leg. And I said, ‘Your head? Any other part of your body? And he said, ‘No, but I know it’s my leg,’” Mark added.

“I think the rocks had a lot of moss on them, and he was playing around, having fun, being 16,” Erica said.  “He was in a little bit of hypothermia, little dehydrated and one broken bone? That’s amazing. He’s the luckiest kid.”

A Coast Guard helicopter from Astoria had to be used to air-lift Snuggerud to OHSU, where his family said he was rushed into surgery for his leg.

His family said Snuggerud is a sophomore at Centennial, and an athlete on the school’s track and football teams. They believe his physical strength helped save his life.

His mother and stepfather said Snuggerud doesn’t remember the fall, and they’re grateful for that.

“Once it all hits you, it’s like how lucky this kid was and how close he came to dead,” his stepfather said. “Every part of his body is scratched and bruised and he’s got, of course, a broken [hip], but he’s alive.”

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