A FAMILY mourns the heartbreaking loss of a mother who fell to her death from a waterfall while trying to rescue a teenager who slipped on a hike.
Sarah Louise Crocker’s family described the 48-year-old as “a talented and accomplished artist” who is “a pure joy”.
She was hiking with family friends at the Three Sisters in the Cleveland National Forest and was reaching the middle pool of the falls when a young girl slipped, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement opinion.
“Unfortunately, both the woman and the girl fell and suffered serious injuries.”
Crocker fell from the falls into the lower pool where bystanders attempted to revive her, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
The district coroner’s office determined that she died from multiple blunt force injuries and the manner of death was ruled accidental.
The teen was flown to a hospital to be treated for her “serious but not life-threatening injuries,” the sheriff’s department said.
Crocker’s family shared one GoFundMe to raise money for her funeral expenses and the education of her two children.
According to the fundraiser, she grew up in Laguna Beach, California and raised her family at Ladera Ranch.
“Our community mourns the unexpected loss of the beloved Sarah Crocker, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend and wonderful human being,” the post reads.
“Sarah was a happy, kind and caring woman who we will miss dearly.”
The fundraiser is currently more than $21,000 of the $50,000 goal.
Several people have expressed their support, including one who said she has had the privilege of hiking with Crocker on several occasions.
“I will forever remember every single hike. Rest in peace sweet Sarah,” they wrote. “You are greatly missed. Prayers for the Crocker family and all other family and friends.”
Another person wrote: “Sarah always greeted me with those big cute dimples and a smile on her face. Always so nice and just had nice and nice things to say and discuss – so positive!! What a heroine and great women!!“ I am more than sorry for this great loss! Lots of love and prayers for her family.”
Located 45 miles from San Diego, the Cleveland National Forest is known for its blooms—a botanical phenomenon in California when an unusually large number of wildflowers bloom at once—and for its waterfall hikes.
The US Forest Service has rated the hike to Three Sisters Falls as “moderate to strenuous.”
“Increasingly popular, this often crowded but challenging hike takes hikers through multiple ecosystems before leading to the main event – three large waterfalls between high, rocky mountains,” reads a description of the hike in the Forest Service website.
“As hikers have recently undergone some new developments, they will find a safer and more direct route to the falls that will make rock/mountain climbing easier and reduce the risk of injury and accident rates.”
Those up for the challenge are warned by the Forest Service to “use caution” near the falls, as “years of runoff have made the large boulders incredibly slippery, so slips and falls are a daily occurrence.”
Crocker is survived by her husband Brad and their two children.