18-year-old man dies after falling 50 feet down ravine in Three Rivers

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Tulare County Sheriff's Office has identified the victim as Brandon Mendez of Exeter.

Original story follows.

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The 18-year-old who died after falling about 50 feet down a ravine in Three Rivers has been identified as Brandon Mendez.

Deputies say the Mendez and a friend were walking in Three Rivers on Friday near the Salt-Creek Waterfall area when the teen slipped and fell down a Ravine.

Rescue teams could hear Mendez but they couldn't see him, so they called the Lemoore Naval Station for help with a helicopter rescue.

After several hours of preparation, the naval teams arrived and lifted the man out.

"It is a mountainous area, the terrain is unsteady," says Tulare County Sheriff's Lt. Gary Marks. "The helicopter has to come in at just the right angle. It's not something we can do in 10-15 minutes. A lot has to go right for this to be successful."

Mendez was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center just after midnight. Deputies say he passed away just after 1:45 a.m.
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