Grants Pass father killed after tragic accident on Oregon coast

BROOKINGS, Ore. —A young Grants Pass father is dead, after he and several children fell off an embankment, on the Oregon coast.

A hiking trip on the Oregon coast quickly turned deadly for one Rogue Valley family last weekend. The Curry County Sheriff’s Office says on Saturday it got a call from a Grants Pass woman saying her husband, her two kids, and their juvenile friend fell off a cliff. Sheriff John Ward says the family got lost on their way to Secret Beach.

“They followed Google Maps and it pointed them in the wrong spot and they thought they were in the right spot so they parked and went down the wrong trail,” said Sheriff Ward.

According to a GoFundMe, the hike was supposed to be at Secret Beach near Brookings, however, the trail was not marked clearly and they ended up on the wrong trail Thunder Cove. It says the trail was easy enough up until approaching the waterfall, where it became treacherous.

“They got in a situation where they had to yell at the three kids, two were family and one family friend, they stopped they were out in front but by the time they yelled at them to stop they were already too late they had already fallen over the initial portion of the embankment,” said Sheriff Ward.

Sheriff Ward says the woman’s husband 36-year-old Ryan Acord saw the kids go over the cliff, and in trying to save them, he slipped and fell to the rocky beach below. He didn’t survive the fall.

“We’ve had issues along that whole coastline,” said Ward.

Sheriff Ward says an eight-year-old also fell and was airlifted out with substantial injuries. The other two children had also fallen down the steep embankment but didn’t fall over the edge to the beach below. Both were rescued and released to their mothers.

“I can’t tell you how many times search and rescue has responded down there in the last several years because people find themselves in situations they cannot get out of,” said Sheriff Ward.

The GoFundMe says Ryan loved hiking, and spending most of his time outdoors. He is described as a courageous, brave, brilliant, adventurous husband and dad, who will be missed dearly. Sheriff Ward says the 8-year-old is expected to make a full recovery.

The GoFundMe has raised over $16,000 at last check. You can find it here. 

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Jenna King is the 6pm and 11pm anchor for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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