Family grieves loss of father that fell while hiking at Multnomah Falls

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KGW) — A Beaverton family continues to grieve the loss of their father after he fell nearly 200 feet to his death from a hiking trail at Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge Saturday afternoon.

Gerardo Hernandez- Rodriguez, 41, was hiking on the trail beyond the Benson Bridge near the first switchback when he stumbled and fell down an embankment.

Hernandez- Rodriguez had planned to visit the coast with his family over the Fourth of July holiday. And in October, he planned to marry his long-term relationship partner and mother of his children.

But on Saturday the 41-year-old’s life was cut short after falling to his death.

“We see my little brother, running toward us, like crying and panicking,” Hernandez-Rodriguez’s daughter Mayra Hernandez said.

Multnomah County Sheriff’s officials said alcohol likely played a factor in the fall. But in an email, officials said they couldn’t determine his blood alcohol level because that would require a toxicology report. They stated deputies determined alcohol was a factor based on statements that Hernandez-Rodriguez had drank heavily Friday night and Saturday morning.

But his family thinks he may have suffered a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

“My brother told me like, ‘I tried to save him, I really tried to save him but I couldn’t,” Hernandez said.

She said heart medicine pills were found in her father’s backpack after his death. His family didn’t know he had heart issues.

“He never wanted to worry us.”

Now, Hernandez said the family is trying to distract the younger kids from realizing their father is gone.

“We’re trying to distract them right now,” Hernandez said. “My little sister’s the one who’s asking for him and we keep on saying he’s at work. But he’s not. And I wish he was at work right now.”

Hernandez-Rodriguez was a chef at Si Señor Family Mexican Restaurant and the head of household.

If you’d like to help with funeral costs, there is a GoFundMe page Hernandez created for the family.

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