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Body of Florida man who fell near Mount Rainier’s Christine Falls recovered

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on Sep. 13, 2011 at 11:47 am |
September 13, 2011 11:48 am

The body of a man who fell Monday while taking pictures at Mount Rainier National Park was recovered this morning, a park spokesman confirmed.

Roger Alan Wagner, a 59-year-old man from Florida, slipped and fell about 40 feet into Van Trump Creek on Monday evening while visiting the park with his son, 31-year-old John Wagner.

Park spokesman Kevin Bacher said it was immediately evident Wagner did not survive the fall.

“He was submerged and not responding,” Bacher said.

Wagner fell about 7:15 p.m. and park officials were able to respond quickly to the scene, but by the time they arrived it was too dark to attempt a recovery on the steep slopes above the creek.

They returned to the scene at dawn on Tuesday to recover Wagner’s body, which had washed over both section of the 69-foot Christine Falls and a third falls before coming to rest about 100 yards from the park road.

Rescuers from Pierce County Fire District 23, Tacoma Mountain Rescue ad the Tacoma Police Department assisted the rangers in the technical recovery. The recovery took about three hours and included 30 people.

John Wagner spent Tuesday night at the National Park Inn in Longmire and requested not to speak with the media, Bacher said.

The father and son had spent the day at the park hiking on the Skyline Trail at Paradise and decided to stop to view Christine Falls while driving down the mountain.

John Wagner was standing on a bridge while his father was taking pictures near the edge of the cliff. John Wagner told park officials he didn’t see his father fall, but heard him cry out.

The Christine Falls viewing area was closed during the recovery but has since reopened.

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