Man dies in fall at La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline on La Jolla Indian Reservation

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PAUMA VALLEY, Calif .– A man has died of injuries sustained after falling from a zipline in Pauma Valley, North County, a family member told FOX 5 on Monday, but they say it was a selfless act to save someone else’s life.

The incident happened on Saturday at La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline on the La Jolla Indian Reservation.

A family member identified the victim as Joaquin Romero, 34, confirming to FOX 5 that he died Monday morning at Sharp Memorial Hospital. The family member said Romero was an employee of the popular attraction on the reserve.

While Romero was working on Saturday, a witness said he was helping a woman get hooked on the platform when she started sliding down the line. He could not stop her and grabbed his harness, causing them both to slide about thirty meters above the ground, according to the witness.

In a video shot by the witness, Romero can be seen hanging from the woman’s harness. FOX 5 froze the video moments before the man fell off the zipline.

The victim’s family said Romero feared the woman might fall from the weight, so he made the heroic decision to let go. According to the witness, the woman was not injured.

When Cal Fire San Diego arrived, Romero was pulled using a low-angle rope rescue system and suffered serious injuries. He was then flown to hospital, but a family member later confirmed his death.

La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline commented on the tragic fall:

“We are saddened and heartbroken by the recent tragic accident involving one of our employees on the La Jolla Zip Zoom. The tribe, tribal representatives, employees and tribal members extend our sincere condolences to our employee and his family for their loss. Like any employer, we pride ourselves on having a safe work environment and a safe and enjoyable experience for our clients. Given the circumstances of the accident, the tribe is conducting a thorough and comprehensive investigation, in coordination and cooperation with federal and state authorities. Until this investigation is completed, we will not be able to provide further comment on this incident. We ask you to join us in keeping our employee and his family in our prayers. “

La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians via statement sent by email

One of the three ziplines is seen in a 2018 FOX 5 story video. The runs range from 300 to 2,700 feet in length and at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour.


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