Crime - Sacto 911

1 of three rescued German tourists dies from crash injuries after Yosemite trip

Bee Staff reports

Maria Fissman
Maria Fissman Tuolumne County Sheriff

One of the three German tourists whose SUV plunged down an embankment in Tuolumne County has died from her injuries.

The two women and a teenager visiting from Germany were rescued Tuesday after crashing their car after a visit to Yosemite National Park.

The three were identified as Monika Schmidt, 63; Maria Fissman, 57; and Reiki Regel, 16. The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office tweeted Wednesday that Fissman had died.

Authorities said the three were reported missing Monday night after they didn't show up as planned in Groveland for dinner after spending the day at the park.

They were part of a group of 10 - seven from Germany - who rented motorcycles and a GMC Yukon in San Francisco and drove to Yosemite on Monday, according to the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department.

They fueled their vehicles at Crane Flat and left the park at 4:30 p.m., with the SUV trailing. When the GMC failed to show in Groveland, the California Highway Patrol, a CHP helicopter and Tuolumne County Sheriff's deputies searched along the highway back into Yosemite but found nothing.

The search continued on Tuesday, with the sheriff's department posting photos of the trio on its Facebook page. Shortly before 1 p.m., searchers found the tourists and the vehicle over an embankment a half-mile east of Buck Meadows, the sheriff's department said. One woman had been ejected from the car and the other pinned. Regel managed to get out on her own.

Regel and one of the women were taken by helicopter to Modesto hospitals while rescuers worked to free the second woman.

At 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, the second woman was freed and was taken to a helicopter landing zone for transportation to a Modesto hospital.

Medical conditions on the surviving women have not been released.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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