3rd Person in 4 Days Injured at Whipps Ledges

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HINCKLEY, Ohio -- It is a gorgeous setting, nestled inside one of Greater Cleveland's famed Metroparks.

Photographers can often be seen taking pictures of the area, which seems to offer postcard imagery any way you turn.

But Whipps Ledges is proving to be as dangerous as it is scenic.

For the third time in four days, someone has been hurt there.

The latest case involved a 17-year-old teen, who apparently hit his head so hard after falling 20 feet, that he couldn't tell authorities his name.

He was life-flighted to MetroHealth Medical Center, where his name and condition have yet to be released.

Authorities said the reason for the rash of incidents is simple: the weather.

"Our activity here is based on conditions," said Lt. Mark Hayner of the Cleveland Metroparks Rangers.

Lt. Hayner said the weather has been so nice that more people have come out, and apparently taken more chances.

"The ones we are seeing are falling 20 to 30 feet," said Tim Potts, the fire chief of Hinckley Township, noting that the base of the ledges is also composed of rock.  "So they're not landing on any soft surface."

Jason Damon, 25, was one of the people who fell earlier this week.

He swung off a vine out over the ledges when it gave way, and Damon said he "just started free-falling to the ground."

Damon said he and his friends had swung off the vines before, but now, after breaking a leg and badly spraining an ankle, he has a "new-found respect" for the ledges.

Lt. Hayner said climbers can get a permit to go up and down the ledges from the Metroparks, so long as they carry liability insurance.