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California mom falls, dies trying to save teen at waterfall

(KTLA) – An Orange County mother of two died when she fell from the edge of a waterfall while trying to save a teenager in San Diego County last week, authorities said.

Sarah Crocker, 48, of Ladera Ranch was hiking with family and friends at Three Sisters Falls in Descanso when a teenage girl in their group slipped and started to fall, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

Crocker tried to keep the girl from going over the ledge but lost her footing.

“Unfortunately, both the woman and girl fell and suffered severe injuries,” authorities said.

Several witnesses rushed to help Crocker and the teen, who was flown by helicopter to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Crocker was pronounced dead at the scene after drowning and suffering “multiple blunt force injuries,” according to the medical examiner.

“Sarah was pure joy. Her love of family, friends and all things outdoors made her special to all who knew her,” friends posted on a GoFundMe page.

Crocker had worked as a field naturalist at The Nature Reserve in Mission Viejo.

“Sarah grew up outdoors, the daughter of an Environmental Educator, observing animals and plants in their Native Habitats,” the organization states on its website. “Inspired by spending time in our wild open spaces, Sarah finds that the only thing better than studying the natural world is sharing that experience with others.”

Crocker is survived by her husband, Brad, and their children, Owen and Delaney.

The condition and identity of the teenager involved have not been released.


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