Rescue teams recovered 23 others

One man is dead after a bridge over the Sandy River near Ramona Falls was washed out by a thunderstorm on Tuesday, Aug. 12. Clackamas County Water Rescue was able to help 23 others.

Around 3 p.m., a witness called 911 after hiking over a mile to report the tragedy.

The heavy rainfall that came with the Tuesday afternoon thunderstorm raised the river level rapidly washing out the bridge and stranding hikers on the other side of the Sandy.

According to Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Brent A. Ludwig, 34, of New Lenox, Ill., who was on the bridge when it collapsed, fell into the water.

Rescue teams responded to the bridge site as well as downstream.

Rescuers found the Ludwig's body one mile downriver from the bridge. His death has been ruled accidental, and his family has been notified.

For several hours, rescue teams ferried the four other people from Ludwig's group, and 19 other hikers, across the water using two rapid deployment rafts.

Multiple agencies responded to the site including Sandy Fire, Mountain Wave Communications, Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue, Gladstone Fire, Lake Oswego Fire, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Clackamas County Fire, Dive Rescue and Search and Rescue, US Forest Service and Oregon State Police.

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