Hiker dies after 'freak accident' in Gorge

Hiker dies after 'freak accident' in Gorge

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by Justin Burton and Teresa Blackman, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on May 19, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Updated Thursday, May 19 at 5:27 PM

CORBETT, Ore. -- A hiker in the Columbia River Gorge slipped into a creek and drowned near the Oneonta Gorge trail Wednesday, investigators said.

Hassan Bin-Abdessellam Roussi, 22, of Portland, was walking over a logjam (see photo above) when he slipped and fell into Oneonta Creek below, striking his head and knocking him unconscious, according to police.

Emergency crews were called to the area just after 6 p.m. Wednesday. Roussi was declared dead at the scene.

Paulette Peynet, a friend of Roussi, told KGW he loved the outdoors and wasn't known to take risks.

"Hassan was very careful. He was careful about his life and his life choices so I think this was purely a freak accident," she said.

The Oneonta Gorge trail was closed so crews could investigate. Roussii was walking on a side trail that branched off Oneonta when he slipped and fell.

The medical examiner told KGW Thursday that the cause of death was drowning.

Other hikers said it happened in an instant, in a notoriously dangerous area. A sign at the trailhead warned of the dangers.

"You have to go through the jog jam to get to the trail or the waterfall," said hiker Chad Harder. "After you've hiked through the water, then you're on these logs that have been stripped of bark so it's very slippery."

Warning: Dangerous conditions on area hiking trails

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