A 25-year-old hiker fell to his death while posing for a selfie at a cliff in Washington’s Palouse Falls State Park on Tuesday, local media reports.
Cade Prophet was taking the selfie with his girlfriend near the top of the waterfall when he slipped and fell into the Palouse River, according to the Tri-City Herald.
Local CBS station KREM said he fell about 40 feet then into the river, where he was swept away. His body was later found in a difficult-to-reach location.
“It’s a narrow part of the river right there,” park ranger Audra Sims told the station. “The canyon gets deeper, the current gets swifter.”
The Spokesman-Review said the trails near the falls used to have fences, but these were removed in 2015 because of complaints from hikers. Now, there are signs warning people to stay on the trails, but they are not always obeyed.
“I can’t tell them they can’t be here, it’s a park,” Capt. Rick Rochleau of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office told the local NBC stations KNDO and KNDU. “But these cliffs are dangerous and it’s not the first time we’ve been out here.”
Selfie-related incidents have been growing along with the popularity of the photos.
In 2015, nearly 50 people died while taking selfies, according to a study. That includes a tourist who died after falling down a staircase at the Taj Mahal while attempting to take a photo.
And last year, a tourist fell to his death at Machu Picchu in Peru while attempting a selfie.
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