20-year-old killed by fallen tree at Yosemite identified as contract employee

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Park rangers say the tent cabin area in Half Dome Village where the accident happened will remain closed for the next several days. (KFSN)

Park rangers are continuing to investigate after a tree fell in Yosemite National Park Sunday and killed a 20-year-old woman.

The victim has been identified as Destiny Borges - a contracted employee from Ceres, CA. Park rangers say the tent cabin area in Half Dome Village where the accident happened will remain closed for the next several days.

Park officials say the park did experience inclement weather on Sunday - including snow and heavy winds. While they say that could be why the tree fell, they're not ruling anything out as they continue to investigate.

Officials say a Ponderosa tree fell around 10 a.m. and smashed onto the tent cabin, and officials say a branch struck Borges.

"It seems that this was a tragic accident," said Scott Gediman, who is a speaker for the park. "Our thoughts go out to the family. It's a horrible, horrible thing."

Gediman says the tent cabin area in Half Dome Village often houses employees and visitors. It's now closed for the next several days while the park service investigates.

Gediman says the park experienced heavy snow and high winds on Sunday

"We'll look into all the factors just to see what led to it and basically go from there," he said.

Park officials say Borges was staying at the park working for a company contracted by the park concessionaire. Gediman says they currently have an active hazardous tree program, where they cut down trees if they pose a danger.

However, Yosemite has millions of trees, and he says it's impossible to know when they will fall.

"We do what we can to prevent this but some things, things like this, happen," he said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Borges and it described her as "beautiful" and bright." It's already raised more than $6,000 in 7 hours.

Gediman says once the investigation is complete, the autopsy will be handled by the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office.
Related Topics:
newsyosemite national parktree fallYosemite National Park
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