Two Federal Way teens die while hiking near North Bend

Otter Falls, located in the North Bend area. - Courtesy of Washington Trails Association
Otter Falls, located in the North Bend area.
— image credit: Courtesy of Washington Trails Association

Mirror staff reports:

Two Federal Way teenagers were killed Sept. 16 after falling during a hike near Otter Falls in the Snoqualmie National Forest outside of North Bend.

The teens have been identified as Andrew Lusink, 16, and Ben Skagen, 18. Both boys attended Christian Faith School, with Skagen recently graduating. The school honored the students with a prayer assembly this morning.

According to the King County Sheriff's Office, a group of four teen boys was hiking the area, when two of the four climbed a rock near the falls. The two boys fell from the rock and were seriously injured.

The two other teens tried to help the injured boys. One was a brother of one of the injured teens and ran down the trail for help. He found two hikers on the trail who went up to assist the injured boys.

The teen continued 5 miles down the trail until he was able to find a Forest Service employee, who called 911.

The King County Sheriff’s Office received the call around 7:30 p.m., and sent Search and Rescue Unit members to the area. Snohomish County also responded with a helicopter.

When the search and rescue teams arrived, the boys had already died as a result of their injuries.

According to reports, the two hikers who went back up the trail for help had stayed with the two injured boys, and made a fire to keep them warm. Sheriff's spokeswoman Cindi West said the hikers attempted CPR on the boys when they stopped breathing.

There is no cell phone service in the area. West said the forest employee would have had to drive down the mountain to call for help.

Christian Faith School announced that donations to the Lusink and Skagen families are being accepted at any Wells Fargo bank branch.

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