College Student Plummets Hundreds Of Feet To His Death While Hiking With Girlfriend


William Thompson Contributor
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Joel Tranby, a 21-year-old college student, tragically lost his life Monday during a hiking excursion with his girlfriend in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains.

The nature-loving duo was ascending North Sister Mountain when Joel fell down a rugged ravine from heights estimated to be between 300 and 500 feet at around 12:20 p.m., as reported by the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Tom Speldrich stated Wednesday that Joel’s girlfriend swiftly called for help but could not pinpoint his exact location upon landing.

Due to the severity of his injuries, Joel unfortunately “stopped responding verbally before searchers arrived,” Speldrich noted.

Family members indicated Joel’s girlfriend was able to be safely transported off the mountain via helicopter, according to the New York Post.

Police emphasized the complexity of their search efforts, stating the region where Joel fell is “extremely dangerous” and unable to be accessed on foot. Due to these reasons, initial attempts to locate him using drones and an Oregon National Guard Blackhawk crew were unsuccessful, per the New York Post. (RELATED: 17-Year-Old Girl Dies While Hiking With Friends In Utah)

The search resumed on the following day, bolstered by volunteers and specialized teams from Corvallis Mountain Rescue and Eugene Mountain Rescue, the outlet reported.

Eventually, drone footage analysis helped authorities pinpoint Joel’s body from a helicopter Wednesday, per the New York Post.

As investigations continue, climbing experts are being consulted to determine the safest approach for recovering Joel’s body, police reported.

The Tranby family, “devastated” by Joel’s loss, shared he was deeply passionate about the outdoors and actively involved in his community, according to KTVZ.

Joel’s parents find solace in the fact their son “was doing something he loved, with the person he loved, in the outdoors,” per their statement.

Joel’s legacy will live on through a GoFundMe scholarship initiated by his family. The fund will also provide support for the expenses involved in recovering his body, per the New York Post.