An 8-year-old Prineville boy is in fair condition this morning, after he was injured Sunday in a fall off of the Crooked River Canyon rim.
>Eight-year-old fell off rim of Crooked River Canyon
On Sunday at about 1:13 p.m., the Crook County Sheriff's Office, Prineville Fire and Rescue, Oregon State Police and Air Life of Oregon rushed to a report of a boy having fallen almost 100 feet into the canyon.
"Brian O'Neil was playing with friends near the canyon rim, located off the Prineville Lake Acres subdivision when a couple of the children decided to climb over the edge of the rimrock," said Crook County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Jim Chapman in a press release. "O'Neil lost his balance and fell nearly 100 feet off the rimrock onto the large boulders below, and was conscious and breathing when rescue personnel arrived. One of the friends playing with O'Neil rode her bike home and had her parents call 9-1-1."
Rescue personnel reached O'Neil by climbing down from the rimrock and others by hiking up the Crooked River Canyon to the rimrock wall.
"O'Neil was then stabilized and carried out nearly 1 mile down steep and rocky terrain to Highway 27, which runs along the Crooked River, where he was transported by Air Life to St. Charles of Bend," Chapman said. "It does not appear that his injuries are life threatening, although the extent of his injuries is unknown."
Crook County Undersheriff Jim Hensley said three people have died in that area during the past 10 to 15 years.
On Oct. 27, 1990, Martin Manley, 27, fell off the same cliff after losing his footing while setting up bottles for target shooting with two friends.
Then 16-year-old Ryan Morton, fell to his death on June 30, 1994.
The cliff had its share of more deaths over time.
On Sept. 17, 1999, James Rocky Harris, 27, fell to his death.
"It was the exact same place where Ryan Morton had fallen off," Hensley said. "This person had gone up there to show other people where Ryan Morton had fallen off."
Hensley urged people to use caution around the canyon.
"Respect that rimrock," the undersheriff said. "It's unforgiving. There's a lot of tripping hazards around it. I've been around it many a time. There's no handrails, no guardrails."
"Every one of these people knew where this rimrock was," the undersheriff said. "It's not like they were running and not expecting it and fell off."