Man dies after climbing over guardrail, falling 180 feet in Skam - KPTV - FOX 12

Man dies after climbing over guardrail, falling 180 feet in Skamania Co.

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A man died after climbing over a guardrail and falling 180 feet trying to jump for a tree branch to reach a ledge in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest on Sunday night. (Photo: Skamania Co. Sheriff's Office) A man died after climbing over a guardrail and falling 180 feet trying to jump for a tree branch to reach a ledge in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest on Sunday night. (Photo: Skamania Co. Sheriff's Office)
The Volcano Rescue Team/North County EMS out of Yacolt, Washington responded to the scene and rappelled over the face of the cliff to recover the 26-year-old man's body. (Photo: Skamania Co. Sheriff's Office) The Volcano Rescue Team/North County EMS out of Yacolt, Washington responded to the scene and rappelled over the face of the cliff to recover the 26-year-old man's body. (Photo: Skamania Co. Sheriff's Office)
COUGAR, WA (KPTV) -

A man died after climbing over a guardrail and falling 180 feet trying to jump for a tree branch to reach a ledge in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.  

Emergency crews responded to U.S. Forest Service Road 90, about six miles east of Cougar, Washington, at 8:45 p.m. Sunday.

A 911 caller reported that 26-year-old Bradlee Byfield of La Center, Washington had fallen down a cliff.  

Friends and family told deputies Byfield had gone over a guardrail and jumped to grab a tree branch or attempted to brace himself with the branch. The branch broke and he fell an unknown distance. The people he was with said they were unable to see Byfield and he was not responding to them.

The Volcano Rescue Team/North County EMS out of Yacolt, Washington responded to the scene and rappelled over the face of the cliff.

Byfield's body was located 180 feet down from the roadway. His body was recovered and turned over to the Skamania County Coroner's Office.

Deputies said the injuries Byfield sustained were consistent with a fall from that distance, however the cause of death is still under investigation.

"The event was witnessed by his family and friends, which make this incident all that more tragic. Unfortunately these types of calls are becoming more and more common in our forests and recreational areas. They are also preventable," said Undersheriff Pat Bond.

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