A 22-year-old man reportedly died Saturday morning after he leaped into a river at California’s Sequoia National Park to save a 5-year-old boy who had fallen in.
KTLA reported that the child fell into the river while walking with his parents and family friend Victor Mozqueda near the Sequoia entrance sign in Tulare County. The man’s brother-in-law, Ivan Gonzalez, said Mozqueda couldn’t swim but jumped into the river and was swept away.
A GoFundMe set up to cover Mozqueda’s funeral expenses said he tried to fight off the river’s currents. Despite being overcome by the waters, Mozqueda continued to hold the boy up and, in a last-ditch effort, threw him out of the strong current so his father could save him.
Authorities told the news station that the 5-year-old’s parents had also jumped into the water. Gonzalez said two fishermen ultimately rescued the boy and his parents. From there, a fisherman and the boy’s father performed CPR on the unresponsive child and were able to resuscitate him, KTLA reported.
Police said it took rescuers two hours to locate and recover Mozqueda’s body.
“We will forever be grateful for his courage, bravery and unselfish act,” the fundraiser said.
Gonzalez, who is also the boy’s uncle, said the 5-year-old was recently moved out of intensive care and is expected to be released from the hospital on Monday.
“He would always do things for others,” Gonzalez told CNN of his late brother-in-law. “That’s just the way he was raised.”
[Featured image: Victor Mozqueda/GoFundMe]