Visitor Falls 250 Feet, Lives, By Crater Lake – September 10, 1967

Visitor Falls 250 Feet, Lives, By Crater Lake

Klamath Falls Herald and News

Klamath Falls, Oregon
September 10, 1967
A sightseer plunged nearly 250 feet down a precipice above Annie Creek Canyon in Crater Lake National Park Friday.

A rescue party used mountaineering techniques in removing the victim from a nearly inaccessible ledge, reliable sources told the Herald and News Saturday.

Officials at the Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital said the victim, Ole Vann, 22, Venice, Calif., had been admitted to the intensive care unit with a broken leg and wrist and possible fractured ribs. A hospital report issued earlier Saturday listed Vann’s condition as “good,” but no determination was made of his condition later that evening.

U.S. Park Service Rangers said the accident occurred about 3:05 p.m. when Vann left his parents’ automobile and walked to the viewpoint overlooking Annie Canyon. Meanwhile, his parents began loading a camera inside the car.

When they looked up their son was no longer in sight. He had begun his fall along the steep slopes of the 450-foot deep canyon.

A four-man rescue party led by Marvin Hershey, district ranger at the national park, was dispatched from park headquarters and began a descent into the bottom of the steep canyon before picking its way back up the slope. The group climbed some 200 feet to a point near the victim.

Larry Hatel, a member of the party, lowered himself along a rope onto the ledge occupied by Vann. The rescuers placed the Californian into a litter and pulled it back up the mountain slope with a rope.

Vann, apparently conscious throughout the rescue operation, directed his first comment to Hershey when the party had nearly reached the edge.

“Is somebody coming to help,” he inquired of the park ranger.

Hershey acknowledged that it was.

Some 12 persons assisted in the rescue before Vann was returned to the top of the canyon at 7 p.m. in the litter raised by a power winch and cable.

Peace Ambulance of Klamath Falls transported the young man to the local hospital.

Park official said the fall was the first major accident reported in the park area this season.