UPDATE (July 3): The victim who died at Wildwood Falls has been identified as 16-year-old Scott Alexander Smith from Aloha, Oregon.
COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. — Divers pulled the body of a 16-year-old boy from the Wildwood Falls, east of Cottage Grove Tuesday afternoon.
Deputies say it appears the boy was attempting to rescue his 13-year-old brother when he fell in. The two had been walking on along a rock wall when the younger brother slipped and fell into a chute of water. The rock wall is about 25 to 30 feet above the base of the falls.
The 16-year-old then dove after him, but never resurfaced. The Lane County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team called in a towing company. It moved a log that was hidden at the bottom of the chute of water. That’s when they found the boy’s body.
The tragedy has search and rescue crews urging safety.
“You’ve got to assess what you’re doing all the time,” said John Miller with Lane County Search and Rescue. “When you’re around water, you’ve got to keep your vigilance up. We suggest people play in the water wearing their life jackets.”
Deputies have yet to release the boys’ identities. The Lane County Medical Examiner will investigate the cause and manner of death.