Washington state teen plummets 400 feet near iconic High Steel Bridge

A 19-year-old man fell down a 400-foot canyon below an iconic bridge in Washington state over the Memorial Day weekend and survived, authorities said.

The man fell Saturday while trying to walk underneath the High Steel Bridge, the Mascon County Sheriff's Office said, one of the tallest railroad bridges in the U.S. It was built by the Simpson Logging company in 1929, and converted into a road in the 1950s or 60s, according to the Washington Trails Association (WTA).

"He was walking down a washout that a lot of people use, and has kind of become a trail. It’s not a trail," West Mason Fire Chief Matthew Welander told KING 5. "It’s a washout, it’s too steep. And he ended up all the way down at the river, sliding."

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Washington teen being rescue from beneath a bridge
A teen was rescued 400 feet beneath the High Steel Bridge in Washington state on Saturday.

Fox News Digital has reached out to the authorities. The teen was not identified, but sustained only minor injuries.

Images released by the sheriff's office show the teen being rescued by a firefighter with a rope and harness to scale the bridge.

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"Hooked him up into a harness and brought him all the way back up," said Welander.

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The High Steel Bridge in Washington state.
The High Steel Bridge in Washington state.

Authorities said the area is known for its deceptive terrain, but that there is a lack of respect for nature. Near the canyon are a few scattered warning signs, including one that states, "Warning: The areas around the high steel bridge are slippery, steep, and unsafe for exploring."

"We get a lot of practice hauling dead bodies out of here," said Welander. "It's probably a 20-to-1 ratio."

He noted rescue teams have to go down into the area around three to five times per year for rescues.

A warning sign near the High Steel Bridge
A sign warning visitors near the High Steel Bridge.

"Two of our rescues have actually been deputy sheriffs, that we ended up flying out because they were hurt," he said.

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The 685-foot-long truss arch bridge spans the south fork of the Skokomish River in Mason County, rising 365 feet above the river, according to the WTA.


Original article source: Washington state teen plummets 400 feet near iconic High Steel Bridge