Gresham man helps rescue mother, son from steep slope

Hiker, forest ranger team to help pair who tumbled from Multnomah Falls Trail

Brad Schultz, 21, of Gresham was hiking just past the bridge at Multnomah Falls at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 29, when he rounded a switchback and saw something strange.

A red stroller had fallen about 25 feet down a steep embankment off the trail. 'That's bizarre,' he thought.

Then he noticed the woman near the stroller. Her leg was wrapped around a tree branch, and one hand held the wrist of a 3-year-old boy.

Bizarre turned to 'really not right' very quick, Schultz said.

While his girlfriend Michelle Harvey, 22, of Gresham ran the quarter mile back to the trailhead for help, Shultz crawled on his hands and knees to the mother and child - identified as Petra Evans, 34, and her son Charlie, both of Beaverton.

A tree branch from an old growth tree had stopped the mother and son from tumbling another 175 feet to the Columbia River Highway, and the mother was hanging on for dear life.

Schultz wedged his feet under the tree, leaned over and pulled the child to his lap. Next the woman readjusted and waited until Forest Ranger Jarrod Fogel, 21, of Beaverton arrived. Together, the two men helped the woman and toddler up the embankment.

Evans had been pushing her son in a stroller about a half mile up the Multnomah Falls trail when the accident happened, said Lt. Jason Gates, Multnomah County sheriff's office spokesman.

She'd gotten about 400 yards past the waterfall's bridge when she tried to turn the stroller around and a wheel got caught in a rut, slipping over the embankment edge. Not about to let go of the stroller containing her son, the mother tumbled down the embankment after him, Gates said.

Mother and child sustained cuts and bruises, which paramedics and Corbett firefighters checked out. Doctors at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center treated a cut on the back of the child's head.

Schultz said the little boy was amazingly calm throughout the ordeal. His mother was shaken, but alright.