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Keizer climber dies on Mt. Jefferson

Keizer's Tommy Fountain died as a result of a fall while climbing Mt. Jefferson on Sunday. (Photo courtesy Facebook)
Tommy Fountain died as a result of a fall while climbing Mt. Jefferson on Sunday. (Photo courtesy Facebook)


Of the Keizertimes

A climber who died on a hike on Mt. Jefferson over the weekend was a man with Keizer connections.

Tommy Fountain, 32, and wife Alison, 29, were climbing Mt. Jefferson on Sunday when authorities say Tommy fell into a crevasse.

Sgt. Chris Baldridge with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said the couple’s vehicle was found at a Marion County trailhead on Sunday. An initial message around 7:30 p.m. Sunday stated deputies in Linn and Marion Counties were organizing a search, with preliminary information indicating one had become injured.

Updated information from about 3 a.m. Monday stated Tommy had fallen into a crevasse and was injured. Alison was able to communicate with rescuers searched via text messages.

Assisting with the rescue efforts were personnel from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Corvallis Mountain Rescue, Eugene Mountain Rescue, Marion County Jeep Patrol, Marion County SAR COM team and the Oregon Coast National Guard.

Authorities knew where the Fountains were Sunday night, but the difficult terrain slowed rescue efforts.

Five rescue climbers from the Corvallis Mountain Rescue Team were delivered about 2,000 feet below the couple by 3 a.m., but estimated it would take several hours to reach them.

Around 7:30 a.m. 10 more mountain rescue climbers were flown into the area.

Shortly after 9 a.m. rescuers reached the Fountains, but found Tommy deceased as a result of his fall. Alison was reported to be in good condition, with crews working to get both of them down the mountain.

According to their Facebook pages, Tommy was a buyer for Illinois-based Topco Associates LLC, a retail food purchasing organization. Tommy’s page lists him as being from Keizer, but Baldridge confirmed the Fountains live in McMinnville. Alison’s page lists her as being a nurse at Reach Air Medical Services in Corvallis and at Willamette Valley Medical Center and Cancer Center in McMinnville.