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Teenager who survives 400-foot fall from Washington State Canyon


The Mason County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that the teen who fell 400 feet from a dangerous canyon in Washington state over the Memorial Day weekend was only slightly hurt.

Saturday, the teen fell while walking on a former trail under the High Steel Bridge, which is one of the tallest train bridges in the U.S.

“People should stay off these trails because they’re dangerous, but they either haven’t seen the signs or don’t care,” said Tim Ripp, a patrol corporal for the Mason County sheriff’s office who helped with the rescue.

The teen, who only had cuts on both arms and was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation, has not been named by the police. KING, an NBC station in Seattle, said that he is 19 years old.

Every year, five to seven people fall off the bridge, and most of them die, Ripp said. This happens even though warning signs are being put up all over the area, including one that says the bridge is dangerous, steep, and slippery.

The county sheriff’s office said that deputies and firemen used a rope and harness to crawl up the bridge and save the teen over the course of the two-hour rescue mission.

West Mason Fire Chief Matthew Welander told KING, “We put him on a harness and brought him all the way back up.” It’s a washout that a lot of people use and has kind of turned into a trail.

He went all the way down to the river, he said.

People keep falling off the bridge, and officials say that part of the problem is that people don’t care about nature or pay attention.

According to the station, Welander said of the teen, “He was incredibly lucky.”

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