Montesano teen drowns at Wynooche Falls


An 18-year-old Montesano man died Friday afternoon after jumping into the water below Wynooche Falls, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office reported.

It’s unknown if Ernest Estrella died as a result of striking an object after jumping into the water or if the cold and turbulent water affected his ability to swim.

At about 1:15 Friday afternoon, a 22-year-old man called to report Estrella did not resurface. The man had to travel nearly 10 miles to the nearest public phone at Coho Campground at Wynooche Lake because there is no cell service in that area.

Deputies, aid personnel from Grays Harbor Fire District 2 and a state Department of Fish and Wildlife officer responded, but could not immediately locate Estrella. A diver with the Sheriff’s Office responded and located Estrella just before 4 p.m. in about 25 feet of water just below the falls.

No drugs or alcohol appear to have been involved. An autopsy will be performed later.