Man who saved boy from drowning deemed a hero by the child’s family

Victor Mosqueda, 22, did not know how to swim when he jumped into the river to save 5-year-old boy


SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK – The family of a 5-year-old boy who nearly drowned in the Kaweah River is calling the man who saved him a hero, who selflessly sacrificed his own life to save their son. 

Victor Mosqueda 22 years old

Victor Mosqueda
22 years old

Victor Mozqueda, 22, died on the morning of June 23 after jumping into the river and saving 5-year-old Vincent Gonzalez. Mozqueda was traveling with the boy’s family when Vincent slipped off some rocks and into the river near the entrance sign to Sequoia National Park. According to a page started by Victor’s sister, Maria Del Carmen (Mozqueda) Hernandez, her brother was the first person to jump in after Vincent even though Victor didn’t know how to swim. She writes on the page that Victor was able to hold Vincent’s head above the water even when the current dragged him under several times. Victor was somehow able to hand off Vincent to his father before the current swept him downstream. It took rescuers about two hours to find Victor, who was pronounced dead at the scene. 

“He is Vincent’s Angel and a hero to all of us forever,” Maria writes on the web site to pay for his funeral expenses. “We will forever be grateful for his courage, bravery and unselfish act. We will always miss you Victor and you will always live in our hearts.”

The boy’s parents, Anita Baker and Isasais Gonzalez, also jumped in to help and had to be pulled out by three fishermen bystanders. One of the fishermen and the boy’s father began CPR and were able to resuscitate Vincent. 

The boy was then transported by the Exeter ambulance up to the Life Flight helicopter and was flown out to Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia. The boy was then transported to Valley Children’s Hospital where he was in the intensive care unit before being upgraded to good condition. Valley Children’s Hospital confirmed on Monday that Vincent had been released from the hospital.

This is the second river fatality within two weeks in Sequoia National Park, and they were both similar incidents in the same location.

“The issue is not people trying to swim. People and children fall and slip into the river, and family members jump in after them to try to save them. In both cases, the family members who jumped in after the children did not survive,” said Sequoia District Ranger Dave Fox.

“The rocks are super slick on the river’s edge, and people should avoid getting close to the water. Please enjoy the river from a safe distance and away from the slippery rocks.”

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