Yosemite, CA — A southern California teenager was tragically killed in Yosemite National Park while trying to help family members.
The family was swimming in the Merced River on Sunday in the area known as Devil’s Elbow. “It looks like the parents of the child had actually gone into the water, and unfortunately stepped into a deep hole, and were having trouble swimming,” says Yosemite Ranger Kari Cobb. “The 17-year-old went in to try and help them. The parents made it to shore, and unfortunately the 17-year-old was not able to make it.”
The teen was then pulled from the river by some bystanders. However, he was pronounced dead when the first park rangers responded.
The Associated Press reports that the victim is 17-year-old Walter Gonzalez of Simi Valley.
Ranger Cobb says this was the first drowning of 2014 in Yosemite.