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Grants Pass Teenager Dies After Falling From Hellgate Viewpoint

By Bryan Navarro

NEAR MERLIN, Ore. — A Grants Pass teenager is dead after falling from cliffs above the Rogue River. Police say he was with a friend before the fatal accident. 17-year-old Garth Hall was with his friend and classmate, fishing on the river near the Hellgate Viewpoint.

The two parked at the lookout spot and went down the mountainside to fish in the Rogue. They had finished up and were climbing the rocks back when they realized they’d left keys down on the bank.

Hall went back, and as he did, he slipped and fell, hitting his head on some rocks. The sheriff and medical arrived, but Hall was pronounced dead at the scene. Hall went to Grants Pass High School and would have been a senior this fall.

“I guess he was a very well liked young man, here at the high school, you know it’s tragic that he lost his life this early in life,” said Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson.

Gilbertson says spotty cell phone service made it difficult to get a call to 911, and for the sheriff to make his own calls for assistance. Law enforcement says to always take extra care when in a potentially dangerous situation.