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Boys swept away in Yosemite were on Orange County church trip

A pastor at the East Anaheim church attended by the family of two boys swept away in a Yosemite National Park river accident has identified the children as Andrew Adams, 10, and his brother Jacob, 6.

Pastor Maury Evans of Calvary Chapel East Anaheim said the boys and their family had been attending the church’s annual weeklong summer camp at Yosemite when the accident occurred.

Park officials have said the boys had waded into a rough stretch of the Merced River on Wednesday when they were swept away. The body of the 10-year-old was found a short time later. The 6-year-old has not yet been found.

“It’s just terribly sad,” Evans said. “This is a family that attends our church. They made a decision to experience God’s beautiful creation and spent time at the church camp. There’s just a lot of grieving here.”

Evans said the boys’ mother, whom he identified as Char-lee Adams of Yorba Linda, was injured in the effort to save the children and is being treated at a hospital in the Fresno area.

The spot where the boys waded into the water isn't far from the area where three hikers were killed last summer when they climbed over a metal guardrail at the top of Vernal Fall and where swept over the 317-foot drop. In all, 18 people died last year at Yosemite.

The pastor said he had been told that on the day of the incident, the boys' family had decided to go hiking in the Yosemite Valley while the rest of the group visited Bass Lake.

The church’s senior pastor, Bob Kopeny, is in Yosemite, ministering to the family and the other church campers, Evans said. More than 100 were along on the camping trip.

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-- Rebecca Trounson 

 
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