According to Multnomah County Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Alexander, deputies arrived at the scene late Sunday afternoon after learning that two hikers had fallen off a cliff at Horsetail Falls along the Columbia River Gorge.
The boy, Oliver, and his mother, Stephanie Cohen, 37, fell 50 to 60 feet and then tumbled another 20 to 30 feet down a slope, rescue crews said.
Oliver was severely injured from the fall and was transferred to a local hospital. His mother was pronounced dead at the trailhead.
The accident happened at around 5:20 p.m.
According to The Oregonian, Oliver stepped on a rock on the edge of the trail and slipped. When Cohen tried to pull him up to safety, they both fell.
“His foot wiggled on a rock and he started to go down,” Cohen’s mother, Lisa Schroeder, told the station. “She just did what she instinctively thought to do and that was go after him.”
Schroeder told The Oregonian that the fall left Oliver with bumps, scrapes, bruises, and a possible neck injury, but he is expected to survive.
Cohen is survived by her longtime boyfriend and four children between the ages of 3 and 13.
“She was a shining star,” Schroeder told AP. “Even though she leaves four children motherless, we all plan to step up as a village and help raise those kids.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.