Man who died after fall at Jump Creek Falls identified

The Owyhee County Sheriff's Office is called to that area at least once a month.

OWYHEE COUNTY - One man is dead after a freak accident in Owyhee County.

We are learning more about a 20-year-old Caldwell man who died after a fall at Jump Creek Falls over the weekend.

Friends of Coit Herrick are still in shock after he died while hiking with friends on Saturday.

The Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office say cases like this aren’t all that rare, they respond to the popular hiking spot about 10 miles southwest of Marsing at least once a month.

Herrick and friends went out for a fun day of hiking Saturday, but friends say it quickly turned tragic.

According to the sheriff's office, Herrick fell between 60 and 70 feet. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died from blunt force trauma.

The sheriff's office says Jump Creek is a popular hiking trail, but it can also be a dangerous one. They get calls at least a couple times a month, from injured hikers.

Our viewers left comments on KTVB’s Facebook sharing their own experiences.

One woman saying "Prayers to the family. My cousin died from falling while hiking at Jump Creek years ago. Be very careful if you hike there."

Another woman mentioned her daughter took a serious fall there, saying "All I can say is wear proper hiking shoes, be cautious when climbing ledges and don't jump if you think you’re to high up. It can be misleading and be higher than you think."

Steve Stuebner is the author of the Boise Trail Guide. He says a lot accidents like this have to do with footing and being aware of where you are.

"If you're at the edge of canyon, say the Snake River Canyon, there's a lot of lava rock right at the edge of the Snake River rim, and those are basalt, lava rocks and may be loose,” said Stuebner. "You don't necessarily want to go up and test it right on the very edge of the canyon because you might fall over the canyon and there's no safety net to catch you."

So what should you do if you're going hiking this spring or summer?

Stuebner says be aware of your surroundings, have the proper clothing and shoes, bring a map with you and if you're alone, and let people know where you will be and when you plan on returning.

“I think of hiking as being a really safe activity, so you know if you follow the guidelines we've talked about and the tips we've talked about, I think they should have a really safe and enjoyable experience," said Stuebner.

Stuebner also recommends bringing your cell phone. He says there are trails where you still can get cell service and call for help.

Meanwhile, friends and family of Coit Herrick are having a candlelight vigil for him on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Middleton Heights Elementary School. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral costs.

A search of previous news stories found that there have been a number of reports of falls at Jump Creek, with some resulting in serious injuries.

In 1995, officials say a Boise man died there due to an accidental fall.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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