PORTLAND, Ore. - Murphy Pelot could hardly believe what happened after his little brother Wilson grabbed what looked like a solid metal railing Sunday on a trail above Silver Falls in Marion County.
“I saw him falling down the cliff like a rag doll,” Murphy said.
The pipe railing fell out. Wilson’s family says the 10-year-old fell 60 feet onto the rocks and into the water below. Murphy was ahead of his parent and reached his brother first.
“When I first got down there, I saw his feet and I saw his face was in the water and I thought he was drowning.” Murphy said. “And I take a few more steps, and I see that his eyes were open and I was like so happy. I was like 'thank God' - one of the happiest moments of my life."
Wilson’s dad Liam Pelot made his way down to his son.
“When I saw him there face-down in the water, you can't get any worse feeling than that,” Liam said.
Park staff told the family the metal railing was damaged in December. Pictures the Pelot family took after the accident show only small bits of tape tied to the railing as a warning.
They say the railing itself didn't look damaged. According to Liam Pelot, “Somebody had propped it up into it's housing, so the railing looked whole. It didn't look broken.”
Wilson Pelot was in the lead as the family hiked up along the trail at Silver Falls, grabbing each railing along the way. When he grabbed the damage railing, it gave way.
Liam Pelot just wants the railings fixed or the area closed off.
“My main thing is I don't want someone else to have to go through this,” Liam said. “It's bad, but I don't blame any one person or group of people. You know, I think it was an accident.”