Police identify woman who died after 100-foot plunge in Columbia River Gorge

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 4:15 PM PDT
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CORBETT Ore. (KPTV) – A 62-year-old woman from Minnesota died Friday after falling about 100 feet and suffering a head injury near Wiesendanger Falls in the Columbia River Gorge.

Multnomah County Sherriff’s Office said Jessica Warejoncas was hiking with a group of friends on Multnomah Falls-Larch Mountain Trail, #441 when she fell. MCSO does not believe the fall was suspicious.

“It’s terribly devastating,” said Stephanie Weinstein, a visitor at Multnomah Falls.

Weinstein stopped by Multnomah Falls with her family while visiting from Canada. Hearing a hiker died on the trail she was about to walk on, broke her heart.

“It hit us hard to know that happened here, because people who hike, enjoy hiking. Especially my teenage son really likes to go to the edge of trails, horrible things could happen,” Weinstein said. “I’m sending all my prayers, and my thoughts to them.”

Crews first arrived at the scene just before 1:30 p.m. Four firefighters then began the roughly 1.3-mile hike to reach her. Corbett Fire said responders found bystanders performing CPR on the woman but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Weinstein says she is an avid hiker who is always outdoors. Though it’s unclear how and why the hiker fell Friday afternoon, Weinstein wants to remind the public about being properly prepared when hitting the trails like wearing proper shoes, bringing enough food and water, and knowing the trail before you get on it. Her plan was to hike Wisendanger Falls with her family but that changed.

“I don’t think we’ll do this route out of respect for that person and the place so we’ll find another trail,” Weinstein said.