Man dies after falling over waterfall near Stevenson

Hood River, Ore. father and son walking through forest after car broke down

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith



A man from Hood River, Ore., died after a Monday evening fall over a waterfall north of Stevenson.

Robert Kahler, 55, was hiking through the area with his son Marcus Kahler, 31, after their car broke down on BPA Powerline Road. The pair began walking through the steep, thick forest, thinking it would be a shortcut to a main road where they could get help.

While crossing a tributary of Rock Creek, the senior Kahler slipped and fell into the water and was swept over the falls, landing on rocks about 15 feet below, said Skamania County Undersheriff Dave Cox.

Marcus Kahler made his way through the woods and got a ride home, where he told his grandfather and uncle what had happened. They notified the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, which launched a search for Robert Kahler.

Members of Wind River Search and Rescue found him, dead, Tuesday evening at the base of the waterfall, Cox said. Because it was dark and the terrain hazardous, the recovery was put off until Wednesday morning.

Robert Kahler’s body was recovered around 3 p.m. Wednesday after a six-hour rescue using a rope system, Cox said. Wind River, Clark County Search and Rescue, Klickitat County Search and Rescue and the sheriff’s office helped with the recovery.

“We are very grateful for the efforts of our volunteer search and rescue personnel,” Cox said. “These folks worked extremely hard to recover Mr. Kahler, which will now allow the family to have some closure to this horrific accident.”

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