TUSTIN (CBSLA.com) — Family and friends were mourning the sudden deaths of two Orange County teenagers killed while camping at Yosemite National Park.
The 14 year olds died Friday after a tree branch fell onto their tent.READ MORE: Suspected Student Stabbing In Westlake Leads To Lockdown
The teenagers loved school, the arts, and were passionate about volunteering, according to those who knew them.
“I’m really sort of in a state of shock still so it’s really hard to believe,” said Steve Carrera, who was the teen’s water polo coach.
Carrera identified the teens as Dragon Kim and Justin Lee. Carrera said Kim and Lee were his beloved players on the Northwood Club water polo team.
“Both of them were great kids. Honestly, they were. They came to work out every single day, were really happy. They were really enthusiastic. Great teammates. All of their teammates would say the same thing. They just loved having them as part of the team and part of the program,” he said.
Kim, a sophomore, was supposed to register for classes at the Orange County School of the Arts on Tuesday. Parents say he was an accomplished trombone player.READ MORE: Manhattan Beach School Employee, Kevin Bandel, Arrested On Child Pornography Allegation
Lee was going to be a freshman at the same charter school. Both had attended Pioneer Middle School.
Upon learning of the deaths, a spokesperson for the Tustin Unified School District released the following statement: “It’s a tragic loss. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families during this difficult time.”
Carrera says the teens’ parents called him and told him the news.
“Whenever you talk to either of them, you just knew that they were headed for big things,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking.”
The Mariposa County Coroner’s office confirmed that they have notified the teens’ next of kin, but the office declined to release their names to allow the families’ time to notify extended relatives.MORE NEWS: 3 Injured After Car Crashes Into Patio Dining Area Of Covell In East Hollywood
Grief counselors were expected to be available at Pioneer Middle School, as well as at the Orange County School of the Arts on Tuesday. A candlelight vigil is scheduled to be held at Northwood High School at 7 p.m. Tuesday.