Workers at Silver Falls State Park were aware of a broken railing before a 10-year-old boy leaned on it and was injured in a 40-foot fall.
The Oregon state park’s manager, Kevin Strandberg, said the railing was marked with caution tape, but the boy’s father said it wasn’t marked well.
The Portland boy was on a hike with his family Sunday when he fell near the Upper Falls at the popular Marion County park. Strandberg said the park gets a million visitors a year.
The boy, Wilson Pelot, was taken to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital in Portland and is expected to recover. His family shared a video with KGW-TV.
“Hi everybody,” Wilson says in the footage. “I love you, and thank gosh I survived, and I hope to see you soon.”
His father, Liam Pelot, said it was icy in the section of the park where he saw strips of orange survey tape along the railings.
“It didn’t jump out at you as ‘Danger.’ I figured it was a warning because it was so icy,” he said.
Liam Pelot said the family relocated from Atlanta to Portland last winter, in part to spend more time outdoors. He said he was grateful to rangers and rescuers, but told The Oregonian he hoped the park’s railings get the attention they need.
“I don’t necessarily blame any person,” Liam Pelot said. “The problem is if the railing is there, it should be functional.”
Strandberg said the railing was on a list of scheduled maintenance projects, but workers had not gotten to it. The section of railing now has much more hazard tape across it.
“We do have the trail open,” Strandberg said. “It’s a very popular trail to have right now. We believe it’s safe the way it’s properly signed right now.”
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