ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Stacey Butler spoke to grief-stricken parents Friday about losing a son and stepson in a drowning tragedy at Yosemite National Park.
Char Adams, inconsolable and teary-eyed, talked to Butler about trying to save her boys and trying to put the pieces of her life back together.
“I miss my boys so much. We had so many plans for us with them. It’s going to be really hard,” Char said, seated next to her husband, Angelo Adams.
The couple was married for a couple weeks before taking their children on their first trip as a family, attending a church excursion in Yosemite.
During the trip, the couple’s six-year-old son, Jacob, and his 10-year-old stepbrother, Andy, drowned on August 15 when they fell into the Merced River.
“Right before our eyes, they were ripped away,” Adams said.
Jacob fell in first, prompting Andy to jump in and try to rescue him. Char and her older son Josh Hargis (from a previous marriage) also tried to jump in after them. They all got swept by the current and, then, separated when they were dragged over a waterfall.
“I saw a current grab my son and I saw my other son do his best to save him. I saw my wife do her best to save him,” Angelo said.
Char and her older son emerged, pinned by boulders.
“I thought I was going to die,” Hargis said.
Campers nearby latched their belts and a rope together to reach in and rescue Char and Josh.
“I just want to say thank you. I can’t even describe how to say thank you. They risked their lives to save Josh and me,” Char said.
Rescuers later found Jacob and Andy dead.
“Not knowing where my little boy was all that time it was…it was horrible,” Adams said.
Char spent a week in the hospital for a fractured vertebrae and foot.
The Calvary Chapel Church in Anaheim has been a rock for the Adams family.
The church will hold a car wash from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday to help the family with funeral costs and other expenses.
The memorial service for their son Jacob will also be held at 2 p.m.
For more information about Calvary Chapel, click on the following link.