UPDATED: Thunderstorm causes high water on Sandy River; one dies, 23 others rescued

News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office
Posted: August 12, 2014, 11:31 p.m.

 

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UPDATE: August 15, 2014, 3:16 p.m.

The deceased victim in this case has been identified as:

Ludwig, Brent A.
Age 34
New Lenox, IL

The death has been ruled accidental.

The family has been notified.

EARLIER (August 12, 2014, 11:31 p.m.)

Just before 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 12, Clackamas County received a 911 call reporting that a bridge across the Sandy River at Ramona Falls had washed out and one person was possibly in the water.

Members of the Clackamas County Water Rescue Consortium responded with Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue deputies and U.S. Forest Service personnel.

Due to the remote area, witnesses had to hike over a mile to the parking lot and drive several miles before they were able to get phone service to call 911.

A thunderstorm in the area had caused heavy rainfall, which raised the river level several feet in a short amount of time. The high water is to blame for washing out the bridge.

Several teams of rescuers were sent to the washed-out bridge location, while others searched the riverbank downstream.

When rescuers arrived at Ramona Falls, they found several people on the other side of the river, unable to cross due to the high water. There was no sign of the male who was on the bridge and fell into the water.

Rescuers discovered a deceased male in the river over a mile downstream of Ramona Falls. The male was identified as the 35-year-old who had been on the bridge when it washed out. His identity is not being released at this time.

Rescuers worked for several hours to assist the stranded people across the river. Using two Rapid Deployment Crafts -- small rafts designed for swift-water rescue -- rescuers ferried 23 people and their gear across the river uninjured.

Multiple agencies responded, including:

Mountain Wave Emergency Communications
Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue
Sandy Fire
Gladstone Fire
Lake Oswego Fire
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue
Clackamas County Fire District #1
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Dive Team
U.S. Forest Service
Oregon State Police
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue

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Contact Info:
Sergeant Nathan Thompson
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office

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