Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

The Middle Fork of the Kaweah River in the foothills of Sequoia National Park contains treacherous stretches of whitewater that will swallow a person if they enter these rapids.

Father drowns after saving his daughter

John Elliott


When the temperatures warm, so does the risk of drowning around these parts. This time of year, as the weather warms, the cold, swift-running river is often too much of a temptation to resist and claims lives almost  annually. Especially when fueled by spring snowmelt, even going near the river can prove deadly. 
On Sunday, June 10, park rangers received a report that a man had been swept downstream in the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River that is accessed by a steep dirt trail from  the parking lot of the Sequoia National Park entrance sign. 
The tragic irony of this incident is that nobody intended to enter the water. While Daniel Torres, 37, of Los Angeles was having his photo taken with his daughter at the river’s edge, she accidentally slipped and entered the water. Her father immediately entered the water and pushed the young girl into the clutches of her mother safely on shore.
Torres’s wife — the girl’s mother — then reached for Daniel but he was already drifting out into the current. Unable to swim, the current pulled Daniel beneath the surface and he never had another chance to self-rescue.  
When swift-water rescuers reached the victim he was deceased. Torres was recovered from the water and transported to the Tulare County Coroner’s Office where the official cause of death has been ruled “freshwater drowning.” 
Although there have been several river emergencies this year, this is the first drowning that has occurred in Sequoia or Three Rivers.