Walla Walla man rescued at Palouse Falls after being struck by ‘football size’ rock

Palouse Falls State Park

PALOUSE FALLS, Wash. — A 28-year-old man was rescued Tuesday afternoon at Palouse Falls after being struck by a falling rock the size of a football, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office says the man and his wife were hiking near the bottom of the falls Tuesday when a rock fell from above and hit the man, knocking him unconscious.

A Life Flight helicopter departed from Walla Walla Airport to the region to transport the injured hiker. The sheriff’s office says others at Palouse Falls Tuesday afternoon helped the injured man.

“Other hikers assisted greatly and summonsed aid,” said the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials say the helicopter was unable to get down to the victim due to weather, but rescuers were able to hoist the man out of the falls.

The 28-year-old was flown to a local hospital for treatment. According to the FCSO, the man was conscious on the flight to the hospital.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission issued the following warning regarding Palouse Falls on October 2, 2015:

Please be advised that venturing beyond the designated viewing area trails at the park is risky. We have posted warning signs at many locations in the park warning people of the risk. Travel beyond these signs is on unmarked, potentially hazardous trails. Users assume all risk associated with travel beyond this point. Rescue costs will be at the expense of the injured party.

Multiple agencies responded to the scene including Columbia Basin Dive & Rescue, Pasco Fire, Franklin County Fire, and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.