December 29, 2010
In a ceremony held at the Yosemite Valley Elementary School on December 17, 2010, three school children were given awards for Bravery for their part in a rockfall that occurred on October 5, 2010. Carmen Ortiz, Angel Ortiz, and Serra Weber were each presented with an award for Bravery by Yosemite Superintendent Don Neubacher at the ceremony at 6:00 p.m. in front of other students, teachers, and members of the community.
On October 5, 2010, Carmen, Angel, and Serra were playing at Church Bowl Picnic Area, near the Ahwahnee Meadow in Yosemite Valley, when a large rock fell from approximately 50 feet above the talus slope. The rock, estimated to weigh 4.5 tons (9,000 pounds) and measuring over eight feet wide and five feet long, fell onto Serra, pinning her beneath the rock. Carmen and Angel ran to the nearby Yosemite Medical Clinic and notified the medical staff. Serra was flown to a local hospital where she remained for several weeks. Serra, a resident of El Portal, has returned to school and is currently recovering at home.
“The quick thinking and action of these students was a tremendous help in getting Serra much needed medical attention. We want to recognize the bravery and quick action of these students. We are very proud of them,” said Yosemite Superintendent Don Neubacher.
Yosemite National Park recognizes Carmen, Angel, and Serra for their bravery and heroic efforts in the rockfall.