Monday, October 2, 2023

A 23-year-old woman died Saturday after plunging 30 feet from a rope swing at Folsom Lake in Sacramento.

According to CBS News, Gold Fields District of California State Parks chief ranger Barry Smith said Kathryn Hoedt, a morning news producer for NBC affiliate KCRA, landed on rocks near the water. Her body was transported by friends to a nearby boat ramp where an off-duty doctor performed CPR.

Hoedt was taken to the Sutter Roseville Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

“Our team is heartbroken about the loss of Katie Hoedt,” said KCRA news director Derek Schnell said in a statement, obtained by the Sacramento Bee. “She had a vibrant personality, she lit up the newsroom with her enthusiasm and her laughter was contagious. She was also proud to be a journalist and she was deeply committed to serving our community. Katie had a bright future ahead of her and she’ll be deeply missed.”

Park officials said rope swings at Folsom Lake are not allowed, and are cut down whenever spotted. Mike Howard, superintendent of the Folsom sector for California State Parks, explained that the primary issues are the integrity of the ropes and the trees, but another concern exists regarding changing water levels.

“A rope swing may be safer earlier in the season,” Howard said. “And then as the season progresses, they get much more dangerous. In this incident, I think she was just trying to have a good time, do something exciting, and obviously the result was catastrophic. It’s not worth it. … Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.”

The parents of Hoedt, who recently graduated from NYU with a master’s in journalism, want park officials to be proactive toward preventing someone else from suffering the same fate as their daughter.

“Either cutting them down or even better yet, cutting the branch off and getting rid of the branch at all, so you can’t fashion anything there,” her father Andy said. “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else, ever, and that’s important to us.”


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