Man dies after fall into Merced River in Yosemite National Park during government shutdown

A man died after suffering a head injury in Yosemite National Park above Nevada Fall on Christmas, three days into the government shutdown.

Andrew Muñoz, acting chief of public and congressional affairs for the National Park Service’s Pacific West Region, said on Friday that the man was retrieved from the water in the Silver Apron area – a large, sloping granite area that the Merced River flows over, located between Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall, just east of Yosemite Valley.

After receiving a 911 call, “rangers were on scene in less than an hour and the visitor was removed from the water,” Muñoz wrote in an email. “Medical attention was provided to the visitor, but he died from his injuries.”

“We aren’t releasing more detail because the incident remains under investigation, which is taking longer than usual because of the shutdown. A news release wasn’t issued because of the shutdown.”

Muñoz said the man, whose identity has not been released, wasn’t in a closed area.

The man’s death was originally reported Friday by Outside Magazine.

Carmen George: 559-441-6386, @CarmenGeorge

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Carmen George is a features and news reporter for The Fresno Bee. Her stories have been recognized with Best of the West, George F. Gruner, and McClatchy President’s awards, and nine first or second place awards from the California News Publishers Association. She has a passion for sharing people’s stories to highlight issues and promote greater understanding.