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.

Comments (6)
  1. Deepest Sympathy says:

    This is so sad. Deepest sympathies to both families. ER doctors & Physicians assistants are so very important to all communities. What a terrible loss.

  2. CAN says:

    My prayers are with them, their families and friends. Thanks for dedicating your lives to helping others. RIP

  3. Jeff says:

    Condolences to both families. What a tragic accident. The fact that Dr.Myer put his life on the line to save his friend shows everyone what type of a man he was. I hope his wife and children as well as the wife and children of Mr.Fox are able to find strength during this time. God bless you.

  4. PIH Volunteer says:

    Dr. Meyer was a kind and patient man. Last spring, he treated my daughter in the Emergency Dept. at PIH with tremendous compassion and understanding. My condolences to his wife, daughters, and extended family, as well as his family at PIH. His death is a tremendous loss to everyone.

  5. Isabel says:

    My prayers are with this guys and their family. I still can’t believe it. My son works with this guys in the e.r. if it is his day off, he must have join them too, he is also very adventurous, full of life. It is such a waste, this guys are dedicated in helping us. It takes a lot of sacrifice bringing kids to med school, and one split second this thing happen. My son have but good words for them. He is very sad, this are his friends and co-worker.

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