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August 18, 2022

Girl dies in cliff fall

SANTA CRUZ—A 13-year-old girl died on June 24 after she reportedly fell down a cliff while on a walk with a group of people.

Mike DeMars, Fire Marshal and public information officer with Central Fire, said Central Fire responded at 2:20pm to a report of someone over the side of a cliff on the 3000 block of Soquel Drive at North Rodeo Gulch in Santa Cruz.

“Apparently the (girl) was walking with a bunch of people and was the last one in line,” he said. 

DeMars added that no one saw exactly what happened, only that she appeared to have slipped off of some form of cliff.

“When we arrived she was still conscious and breathing,” DeMars said.

The victim, who is not being named due to her age, was rushed by American Medical Response Paramedics to Dominican Hospital. From there she was airlifted by CALSTAR air ambulance to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center where she later died, DeMars said. Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies also responded.

Craig Broadhurst, Principal of New Brighton Middle School the girl was a student at Soquel Elementary School before coming to NBMS for the last two years.

“She had many friends at NBMS and we were looking forward to welcoming her back for her eighth-grade year in August,” Broadhurst said.

A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the girl’s age as 11.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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