Orange County teens ID’d as campers killed by falling tree branch in Yosemite

Adolescent close friends from Orange County have been recognized as the two children gotten rid of Friday at a camping site in Yosemite after a tree branch landeded on their camping tent.

Senior high school student Dragon Kim as well as incoming freshers Justin Lee were at Upper Pines Camping area in Yosemite Valley when a limb from an oak tree fell into their tent around 5 a.m. Friday. When park rangers showed up, both individuals had died from their injuries.

“It’s an awful loss,” claimed Mark Eliot, spokesperson for Tustin Unified Institution Area, where both adolescents attended middle college. “Our hearts go out to the family members throughout this difficult time.”

Tustin Unified will have despair therapists available as registration obtains underway next week at Pioneer Middle as well as Beckman High, where numerous of the children’ previous classmates currently go to college, Eliot said.

Pals and schoolmates of Kim and also Lee required to Instagram and also Twitter throughout the weekend to discuss their despair.

Lee’s family couldn’t quickly be grabbed remark, while Kim’s family said they aren’t yet ready to discuss the misfortune.

Kim was readied to return for an additional year at Orange County School of the Fine arts in Santa Ana, a high-level public charter school that highlights the arts.

Lee, which lived in Irvine, was planning to go to OCSA for the academic year that starts Aug. 25.

Both teenagers went to Pioneer Intermediate school, Eliot said. They likewise played water polo with each other.

“They were close,” stated Patrick Hajali, 15, which attends Beckman High and also played water polo with Lee at the Patriot Aquatics club.

Hajali claimed Lee was a friendly teammate that helped him comprehend drills during practice.

“He consistently aided people,” Hajali stated. “He was consistently favorable and really good.”

Kim has a long record of sports. He took part in The Dinosaur Dash, a race as well as enjoyable run held each be up to raise money for Tustin-area nonprofits. And also in 2011, he was one of 12 pupils granted a 2nd degree black belt after years of training through Master Lee’s Talium Taekwondo.

Matt Calhoun coached Lee in water polo this summertime with Patriot Aquatics, a program at Beckman High School. He remembers Lee typically grinning, being handy at morning practices and volunteering for extra duty when Beckman acted as among the hosts for the Junior Olympics.

“He was always enthusiastic,” Calhoun claimed. “Great, difficult employee.”

News of the catastrophe shook Steve Carrera, a trainer with Northwood Water Polo Club in Irvine. Lee formerly played polo with the Irvine club. Kim played goalkeeper this summertime, Carrera claimed, as a participant of Northwood’s 14-and-under group that competed at the Junior Olympics.

“It’s extremely depressing,” Carrera said. “Something that freakish. What can you do?”

It’s not the very first time someone has died in Yosemite due to a jeopardized tree limb. Most just recently, in 2012, a park giving in worker passed away when his camping tent cabin was attacked. 2 vacationers were likewise killed and nine were wounded in 1985 when a 25-foot branch fell into an open-air tram, according to The Associated Press.

The campers were vacationing with family in the website in Yosemite Valley, Scott Gediman, a Yosemite park representative told Friday.

As the information about Kim and also Lee spread, those that had actually understood the 2 common fond rememberances and disbelief online.

One Twitter article reads: “Dragon Kim: you were beyond smart & & a terrific pal. I can constantly count on you when I required help in Bio. We will certainly miss you a lot!”

An additional Tweet checks out: “justin lee, thank you for all the smiles as well as giggling that you have actually brought me I will remember you and also your amusing character consistently.”

Register team participants Mindy Schauer and Sarah de Crescenzo added to this report

Contact the writer: 714-796-7963 or!.?.!

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