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OC mother dies after falling over waterfall while trying to help teen during hiking trip

By David González

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    LADERA RANCH, California (KABC) — An Orange County woman was killed while trying to help a teen during a hiking trip in San Diego County.

Sarah Crocker’s family and friends are trying to wrap their minds and hearts around the reality that the 48-year-old is no longer with them.

“My happiest memories with her are just doing normal things,” said Donna Chirco, Crocker’s longtime friend.

Crocker, a wife and mother of two from Ladera Ranch, died in the tragic hiking accident at Three Sisters Falls on June 8.

“I just think time kind of stopped and I had to hear it again because it just couldn’t be true, and I think I still feel that way,” Chirco said.

Crocker and Chirco were neighbors and became close friends over the last 18 years.

“I just knew right away I wanted to just hang out with her more and spend time with her,” she said.

Chirco said the simple things they did together with their children is what she cherishes most during this difficult time.

“She was a great mom,” Chirco said. “She loved being a mom. She loved spending time with her kids and husband and she wanted to help her kids experience everything that life had to offer.”

The avid hiker was exploring the falls in Descanso with family and friends.

Authorities said Crocker and a teen were in the middle pool of the falls when she reached to help the teen and lost her footing.

Both went over the edge of the water and landed in the pool of water below. Crocker died from her injuries.

“She would always help anybody with anything and she never expected anything in return and I know people always say that and it seems kind of trite but that’s really who she was,” said Chirco. “She took people for who they were.”

She said she feels the weight of continuing life without Crocker.

The condition of the teen who fell over the waterfall is unknown at this time.

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