Search and Rescue team at Toketee Falls

Search and Rescue personnel look for a missing California man at Toketee Falls in eastern Douglas County. Sheriff’s deputies are still looking for Brian Lewinstein, 23 of Berkeley, California, after he fell from the walkway along the falls on Sunday.

A California man is presumed dead after falling from a cliff above Toketee Falls in eastern Douglas County on Sunday, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Douglas County Search and Rescue personnel have been searching the area since Sunday, for 23 year-old Brian Lewinstein of Berkeley, California.

It’s believed that Lewinstein fell into the top pool of the falls. Deputies said he crossed a safety fence to take a photo from above the falls when he slipped and fell down the steep embankment.

Wayne Stinson, emergency management coordinator for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, said several factors make the search difficult, including the steepness of the terrain, the length of the fall and that Lewinstein possibly landed in the first pool beneath the falls.

“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 slow after Wednesday as searchers are comfortable they have searched all possible ground beneath the falls.

“A deputy will continue to check the bodies of water where Lewinstein may be located,” said Sgt. Brad O’Dell of the Sheriff’s Office. “We’re working closely with the Lewinstein family and will keep them apprised of our progress.”

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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