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Search fails to find man who fell at Toketee Falls

Search and rescue crews scouring the Toketee Falls area for a 23-year-old who fell from a cliff above the falls on Sunday will ramp down today, officials said.

Crews believe Brian Lewinstein of Berkeley, California, fell into the top pool of the falls and is dead, according to a release from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Search and Rescue personnel have been searching the area ever since.

“There are several factors at play that make this search problematic, such as the steepness of the terrain, the length of the fall and the fact that Mr. Lewinstein possibly landed in the first pool beneath the falls,” said Wayne Stinson, emergency management coordinator. “If he landed in the falls, there is a possibility he was washed down to the second pool or even into the North Umpqua River.”

Divers are unable to search the pools due to dangerous water conditions.

The search is expected to ramp down after today as searchers believe they have covered all possible ground beneath the falls, the release said.

Lewinstein had climbed over a safety fence to take a photograph from above the falls when he slipped and fell down the steep embankment, sheriff's officials have said.

“A deputy will continue to check the bodies of water where Mr. Lewinstein may be located. We are working closely with the Lewinstein family and will keep them apprised of our progress. Our hearts go out to them,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Brad O’Dell.

Douglas County sheriff's photoA search-and-rescue worker prepares to rappel down a cliff at Toketee Falls where a man from Berkeley, California, fell Sunday.