Mom dies trying to save toddler during hiking fall

Still frame from KOIN video

CORBETT, OR – A mother of four died on a trail in Oregon when she jumped to rescue her 3-year-old son who fell down an embankment.

Stephanie Cohen was hiking in the Columbia River Gorge with her family and friends Sunday afternoon when her young son fell. When she went to rescue the boy, she fell and suffered fatal injuries.

The 37-year-old Portland woman and her son each fell about 60 feet, then another 20 to 30 feet on a steep slope.

Paramedics tried lifesaving efforts as Cohen was brought up to the trail and then taken down to the parking area. But she died on the trailhead, Multnomah County Capt. Steve Alexander said.

‘I believe she did save him’

Cohen’s best friend, Danielle Dalbok, said she was a devoted mother to her four children — including twin 3-year-olds. Dalbok said her friend put her family first to the very end.

Cohen was on a day hike with her children and her longtime partner, Jayson Lewis. His mother and Dalbok’s 13-year-old son were also on the day trip.

“They made a bunch of sandwiches and they got there and ate sandwiches and did the normal, what they all do when they go (hiking),” Dalbok said.

The tragedy happened on their way down.

“One of the twins fell off the side and she jumped, jumped right after him,” Dalbok said. She wasn’t surprised Cohen would jump to get him “because it’s Stephanie.”

The 3-year-old was injured, but Dalbok said he’s OK and will likely return home soon.

“I believe she did save him,” Dalbok said. “What makes it interesting is that she didn’t pass until she knew he was OK and that kind of, for me, says it all. She needed to see he was OK, and she sat up and saw him and laid back down and passed shortly thereafter.”

Lewis was holding Cohen as she mumbled “her son’s name over and over and over again. And she was able to just rest when she saw him and he was OK.”

She described Cohen as compassionate, kind and loving, like a sister. Dalbok’s son, she said, considered Cohen “his second mom.”

“Stephanie loves her family, loved her family. That’s what is most important to her and her whole world,” the friend added.

WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON RIGHT NOW: 

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s