Monday, 4 April, 2016
On Thursday, March 31, 2016, at approximately 8:12 pm The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office received a report that a hiker had become lost on the Table Mountain Trail near North Bonneville, Washington.
The hiker, Riley P. Eagen, 21, Madison, WI, called the Sheriff’s Office to report he’d become lost on the Table Mountain Trail and does not know how to get back to his vehicle, parked at the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort. Eagen reported he had some water but no food and only dressed in shorts and long sleeve shirt.
A Search & Rescue Deputy was dispatched to the scene, who then made requests for search teams. The search continued throughout the night and a better location was obtained by a cellular phone ping. Eagen was told to stay at his current position until search teams could reach him, his cellular phone eventually lost battery.
At daylight additional teams responded and attempted to make their way to Eagen’s last known location, but due to extremely rough terrain progress was slow. A Coast Guard Helicopter was dispatched to the scene to assist in the search.
At approximately 11:11 am, Eagen walked out to his vehicle, without assistance. He later told Deputies he’d purchased a book showing the hike but decided to take a “short cut” to save time. He decided to hike out instead of waiting for rescuers.
“This entire situation could have been avoided with the proper preparation and planning by Mr. Eagen. I appreciate the search crews response and diligence working throughout the night and into the next day in an attempt to assist in this rescue,” said Undersheriff Pat Bond.