Two campers killed by falling tree in Yosemite identified as OC teens

Teen Campers Killed By Falling Tree In Yosemite Identified


Two young campers killed when a tree limb fell on their tent in Yosemite Valley early Friday were identified Monday as Tustin teenagers Justin Lee and Dragon Kim.

The branch fell from an oak tree about 5 a.m. Friday while the boys were sleeping at Upper Pines Campground, according to the National Park Service.

By the time park rangers arrived the boys were dead, a brief news release from Yosemite National Park stated on Friday.

On Monday, Kim's parents, who were camping with the boys, posted a message acknowledging their son's death to his friends and teammates at the Northwood Water Polo Club. "It is with a broken heart that I have the worst news I can possibly share. We are in deep sorrow and mourning," the statement began.

Yosemite campers killed by tree
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Two campers killed by falling tree in Yosemite identified as OC teens
Photo: KTLA
Photo: KTLA
Photo: KTLA
Photo: KTLA
Photo: KTLA

"We would like you to know that Dragon really cherished his time with the Northwood Nation," the statement continued. "He loved coming to practice, learning and competing with his teammates. He loved all you boys and coaches. Thank you for taking him onto your team and loving him back."

The boys played at the Northwood Water Polo Club in Irvine for three years, where they were described as well loved and respected.

"They really did have a zest for life ... even though they were still very young," coach Steve Carrera said. "Everybody who knew them is affected because they touched their life in a way that made them feel good about what they were doing."

Yosemite officials did not attribute the tree limb falling in Friday's deaths to any specific cause.

A vigil for the two teenagers was planned for Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Northwood High School pool in Irvine.

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