5-Yr-Old Slips & Falls into Raging River, Uncle Pays Ultimate Price To Save Him From Drowning


What should’ve been a peaceful family trip to Sequoia National Park quickly turned into a nightmare for one southern California family.

Victor Mozqueda, a 22-year-old from Santa Clarita, California, died while saving his 5-year-old nephew who slipped into the Kaweah River on June 23, 2018.

Victor, his sister, brother-in-law, and their three children had been planning this 3-day trip for some time and were excited.

They arrived at the park early on Saturday morning and decided to walk toward the river by the park’s entrance sign.

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Victor’s 5-year-old nephew, Vincent, slipped on the rocks and fell into the raging current.

Without thinking, Victor threw himself in the water to save little Vincent even though he couldn’t swim.

The next few moments were filled with anxiety as Victor did everything he could to save his nephew. He was fighting to keep his nephew’s head above the water, sacrificing his own ability to breathe.

“He went under for two to three seconds with the child, he never let him go, and the last thing he did was throw him at my brother for him to pull him out,” Ivan Gonzalez, another one of Victor’s brothers-in-law, said.

The boy’s father was able to catch him and pass him to his wife, but when he turned around to try to grab Victor he had been swept under the water.

A kind stranger performed CPR on Vincent until paramedics were able to come; Vincent was unconscious and had scrapes all over his face.

Other family members were called so they could pray while teams were searching for Victor.

“We were all praying, we were all hoping he would be okay,” Gonzalez said. “We were hoping we would find him alive.”

They found his body on the riverbank two hours later; he did not make it.

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Thanks to the quick response of onlookers and to the team of doctors and nurses at the Kaweah Delta Medical Center, however, Vincent was able to recover from his injuries and is now back at home with his family.

The family is still grieving the loss of Victor but is extremely thankful for his heroic acts that saved his little nephew. A GoFundMe has also been set up to help the family cover funeral costs.

“He died saving that boy,” Gonzalez said. “He was too young. He was too kind. I wish this had not happened.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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