A 20-year old Redmond man, wearing only pants, shoes and a t-shirt, set off Tuesday to go on a hike at Smith Rock State Park. When he didn’t return home his worried mother called 9-1-1 and then went to go look for him.
Jared Irick’s mother, Janet Irick, found her son’s car still parked at the Smith Rock parking lot. Authorities say she tried to find him but had no luck. She called some of her friends to help her look. By then a Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team began assembling a search party in the parking lot. An Air Link air ambulance also came on scene in hopes of spotting Jared from the air using a heat seeking device.
Friend’s of Jared also arrived at the park and began searching. One of the Jared’s friends heard what he believed to be a call for help coming from the northeast end of the park. Jared was found on the Wolf Tree Trail, near the Burma Road Trail. Jared was wet and cold, but able to hike out on his own with his friend and DCSO SAR Volunteers.
Jared told deputies that he had hiked the Wolf Tree Trail to the Burma Road Trail and a short distance beyond. He said he got lost after dark and at one point entered the river in an attempt to cross to the other side. But river conditions grew too perilous, so he returned to the river bank. A short time later Jared saw the headlamps of searchers and he called out for help.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone that recreating in the outdoors requires respect for dangerous conditions in the wild and to always be prepared for something to go wrong. Even short hikes can get extended for unforeseen reasons. A cell phone with battery charging device, a small first aid kit, extra clothing, emergency shelter, extra food and water, flashlight, etc. can make a big difference when the unexpected happens to you. Be prepared.