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Whittier ER Doctor, Physician Assistant Die In Yosemite Hiking Tragedy

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WHITTIER (CBS) — The emergency room staff at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier is mourning the deaths of two of their own during a trip to Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite officials have confirmed that one hiker is dead and another is presumed dead after they were swept over a bridge into a reservoir while returning from a backpacking trip.

CBS2/KCAL9’s Stephanie Abrams reported that physician assistant Richard Fox has been found, but authorities are still searching for the body of Dr. Gregory Meyer.

The friends, who were well known and liked throughout the hospital, were both outdoorsy types who made hiking trips to Yosemite National Park an annual tradition, according to Dr. Ian Kramer, Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital’s ER medical director.

Fox apparently slipped while crossing a bridge partially submerged in water, Abrams reported. The rest of the group, which included Meyer’s wife, formed a chain to try and pull him out. Dr. Meyer was on the end of the chain trying to grab hold of Fox when the force of the river swept both of them away.

The hospital’s emergency room is devastated by the loss of their two colleagues.

“Emergency’s 24-7,” Kramer said. “We all work hard. It’s life and death every day. It’s usually not your life and death and it’s very, very hard on the staff now to have this kind of loss. You have to keep taking care of people and we have to take care of ourselves, too, for our own mental health.”

Meyer leaves behind his wife and twin girls who turn 3 next week. Fox is survived by his wife and three teenage boys.

Memorials are on hold while officials continue to search for the body of Dr. Meyer.

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