White River Falls Tragedy

Last summer 15-year-old Caleb Jordan Justice of Vancouver, WA, accidentally drowned when attending Experience the Valley Summer Camp, a weeklong church camp. Justice and his fellow campers were on a walk by White River Falls near Maupin, OR, when Justice slipped on some rocks, fell into the water, and drowned.

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by our own John Coletti on behalf of Justice’s estate. The lawsuit is asking for $13 million and names the camp’s organizers, including River Rock Church of Camas, WA, and a number of other churches, among them Bethel Community Church of Washougal, WA, Trinity Fellowship of Portland, and Laurelwood Baptist Church of Vancouver, WA. The suit notes that the organizers did not require Justice to wear a life jacket and put him at risk by letting him walk in an dangerous area.

Camp counselor Brett McLean also drowned and may have been attempting to help Justice. Both of their bodies were recovered in the water below the falls the day after their fall.

For more on this story, see this article from the Oregonian.