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News / Clark County News

German tourist killed by falling tree on Pacific Crest Trail

By Jerzy Shedlock, Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published: August 29, 2019, 12:24pm

A German tourist was killed Tuesday on the Pacific Crest Trail northwest of Trout Lake after a tree fell and struck him, according to the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office.

A search and rescue team moved Finn Bastian, 28, of Preetz, Germany, to a trailhead and performed CPR, but their revival efforts were unsuccessful, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Skamania deputies received a patchy cellphone call at 4 p.m. about an injured hiker on the Pacific Crest Trail. The caller estimated they and two other hikers were about 1½ miles north of Forest Road 23, which accesses the east side of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Deputies subsequently received a second call about an emergency transmitter activation originating from the same hikers.

Search and rescue crews were dispatched along with a helicopter capable of hoisting people. One of those crews reached Bastian and identified him by his passport.

“He was extricated to the trailhead at which time CPR was initiated. Bastian was unable to be revived and died at the scene,” the sheriff’s office said.

Bastian and his hiking partners — Larissa Stawicki, 27, of Lunburg, Germany, and Melanie Teetz, 38, of Templin, Germany — had hiked from Mexico on the Pacific Crest Trail to the Trout Lake area.

According to Stawicki and Teetz, they were crossing a wooden bridge when the large tree fell and struck their hiking companion. The fallen tree was examined, and it appears to have rotted at the base, the sheriff’s office said.

Columbian Breaking News Reporter