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September 6, 2011

Calif. rockslide kills girl, injures boy

By Joe Nelson
San Bernardino County Sun

FOREST FALLS, Calif. — An 11-year-old girl died and a teenage boy suffered a broken foot Monday in a rockslide fueled by heavy rain, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department said.

The two youths were among a group of friends from Rancho Cucamonga who gathered for the Labor Day holiday for a hike to Big Falls, said Fire Department spokeswoman Tracey Martinez.

Heavy rain that fell in the area early Monday morning is believed to have triggered the slide.

"That area is very well known for flooding, so we want to warn people that if you go hiking right after a rainfall, you have to use extra caution because every thing is loosened up," Martinez said.

The group was near Big Falls, a tall waterfall at the terminus of the Big Falls Trail, when a boulder struck the girl in the head and another struck the boy in the right foot, Martinez said.

Firefighters responded to the call, which came in at 12:10 p.m. They hiked to the area and found the girl unconscious but still breathing. The boy suffered a broken foot, Martinez said.

Efforts to stabilize the girl, who was not named, were unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:05 p.m., Martinez said.

The boy was placed onto a gurney and carried down the trail and across the Mill Creek wash to an ambulance. He was taken to a hospital and treated for his injuries, Martinez said.

Sheriff's deputies and firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service assisted the Fire Department in the rescue efforts.

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