Calif. rescuer dies in fall while searching for missing hiker
West Valley Search & Rescue Team Volunteer Tim Staples died at Mt. Baldy after becoming separated from his search partner
By FireRescue1 Staff
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. — A volunteer rescue team member died after a fall during a search for a missing mountain hiker.
West Valley Search & Rescue Team Volunteer Tim Staples, 32, was found dead by a helicopter crew at the ice-covered Mt. Baldy after becoming separated from his search partner, according to the Los Angeles Times.
More than 120 volunteers had gathered at the mountain to search for missing hiker Sreenivas “Sree” Mokkapati, who has been missing for about a week. Search efforts were suspended after the discovery of Staples’ body.
Staples was a social science and English high school teacher and is survived by his wife, Katie. A GoFundMe has been set up by the rescue team to support Staples’ family.
“As a faculty member in social science and English, he was a favorite teacher among his students,” a Damien High School statement said. “Our school will have a crisis intervention team of clergy and professionals trained to help with the needs of students, parents, and school personnel.”
The family and friends of Mokkapati held a vigil for Staples on Sunday at the high school.