Mother questions safety procedures at Oregon adventure park after son falls 40 feet
Posted October 2
GASTON, OR — The family of a 22-year-old said he fell 40 feet while climbing at an adventure park in Oregon.
Valerie Hansen described her son Tyler as an experienced climber. She told FOX 12 he was involved in an incident Saturday at Tree to Tree Adventure Park in Gaston.
"It was during a tree climbing feature that they have at the park," she said. "The story that I heard from his friend is that he was still clipped into their line when he fell."
Hansen said her son suffered multiple serious injuries from the fall.
"Fractures, he's pretty much shattered his arm. He has a spleen injury, a knee injury, he has a concussion," she detailed. "It's a blessing that he's alive."
While Hansen is grateful her son survived the fall, she questioned the response from the park, as well as their safety protocols.
"He's in very, very serious condition, because their lack of safety," she said. "Everybody falls, but 40 freaking feet with nobody nearby, no secondary tether?"
An incident report sent to FOX 12 by Hansen's family said the reason for the fall was "failure to follow safety briefing or guide instructions."
The company also sent a video of the climb Tyler Hansen was on, saying it was taken from right after his fall and that all the equipment was working properly.
Valerie Hansen told FOX 12 she did not believe the report, calling it "ludicrous."
"And here they are trying to blame my kid, saying he didn't clip on. Well no, I'm sorry, that's like saying a diver forgot to turn on his tank when he goes diving. It just doesn't happen," she said. "Someone who has taken as much as he's done, I just don't believe it."
According to Tree to Tree owner Marissa Doyle, the fall was not because of them or their equipment.
"Tree To Tree principals are in contact with Tyler's family and wish him a speedy recovery. Safety is Tree to Tree Adventure Park's number one priority, employing the industry's highest level of safety equipment.
Our staff inspects our gear and equipment daily to ensure it is working to expectation. In this instance, Tree To Tree safety equipment was bypassed. After completing six aerial courses and two free climbs, Tyler failed to implement the auto belay safety system on the outdoor climbing wall and, as a result, had no safety mechanism in place prior to his ascent."
Valerie Hansen said she doesn't agree with many things written in the incident report, including that is stated a guide found Tyler after his fall. Hansen claimed a guide wasn't even around while he was climbing and that his friend found him.
Hansen said her son is having surgery Monday morning and that more could be wrong with him but doctors are still running tests.
Family members have started a GoFundMe campaign to help with medical expenses.