Things That Matter

This California Man Sacrificed His Life To Save Woman Falling From Zip Line

Photos via GoFundMe; Getty Images

Some days, it seems like we live in a world where everyone is looking out only for themselves. But just when you think the world is becoming more disconnected than ever, someone does something to show true heroism is still alive.

On Saturday, a 34-year-old man named Joaquin Romero sacrificed his life to save a woman who was in danger of falling from a zip line. 

While at work, Joaquin Romero was securing a female customer on the zip line platform, but she slid out onto the line before she was fully secure. Romero grabbed onto her harness to stop her from sliding and, sadly, was dragged onto the line, too.

Knowing that the zip line would break with both their weight on it, Romero let go and plummeted roughly 100 feet. 

The incident happened at the La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline on the La Jolla Indian Reservation in the Pauma Valley in California. The zip line at La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline can only hold up to 250 lbs — something Romero was keenly aware of before he fell to his death.

Romero was rescued by the Cal Fire crew, who pulled him to the road using a low-angle rope rescue system. He was then airlifted to the hospital, where he died on Monday morning.

According to ABC 10 News San Diego, the medical examiner’s office says he died from multiple blunt force injuries. The customer was uninjured. 

Norma Contreras, tribal chairwoman of the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians — where the zip line is located — told KSWB on Monday: “We are saddened and heartbroken over the recent tragic accident involving one of our employees at the La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline. The Tribe, Tribal officials, employees and Tribal members extend our sincere condolences to our employee and his family for their loss. Like any employer, we pride ourselves on having a safe working environment and a safe and enjoyable experience for our customers. Given the circumstances of the accident, the Tribe is conducting an in-depth and comprehensive investigation, in coordination and cooperation with federal and state authorities. Until this investigation is completed, we won’t be able to provide any further comment on this incident. We ask that you join us in keeping our employee and his family in our prayers.”

According to sources, Joaquin Romero was a beloved brother, father and partner with an unmatched love of guitars.

Since his death, his family has set up a grab-and-go fish taco fundraiser both to raise money for Romero’s family and to commemorate his life.

The family also has a GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral expenses and for Romero’s his son. 

We have refrained from posting outside links and videos of Romero to honor his family’s request for privacy at time of publication.

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