California Zip Line Employee Drops 100 ft to Death Trying to Save Stranded Woman

Joaquin Romero, 34, worked at La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline on the La Jolla Indian Reservation in the Pauma Valley.

A Zipline employee sacrificed his life to save a stranded woman in California. Joaquin Romero, 34, worked at La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline on the La Jolla Indian Reservation in the Pauma Valley. The unfortunate incident occurred on Saturday, October 30.

According to witness accounts, Joaquin Romero was helping a woman get hooked onto the platform when she slid out on the line. He couldn't grab her in time but held onto her harness, causing them both to slide out about 100 feet above the ground. Romero feared both of them would fall to their deaths because of the combined weight as the zipline can hold only up to 250 pounds. He then decided to let go of the harness to save the woman and fell from a height of 100 ft.

Romero sustained major trauma injuries from the fall and was airlifted to the hospital. He succumbed to his injuries Monday, November 1 morning at Sharp Memorial Hospital. The woman, whose identity is not clear at the moment, reportedly remained uninjured.

Joaquin Romero
Joaquin Romero Screen grab - Facebook

The zipline paid tribute to the deceased employee

"We are saddened and heartbroken over the recent tragic accident involving one of our employees at the La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline," La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline said in a statement. The company further added that they are "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," the statement further added.

Joaquin Romero's brother Rick and his wife Rhonda are hosting a grab-and-go fish taco fundraiser on Friday, November 5 to help the family. "This fundraiser is to help the family out with the recent loss of Rick's brother Joaquin Romero," a family friend wrote on Facebook.

Deaths on zipline

An estimated 16 people die on ziplines every year. La Jolla has three different zip lines that range from 300 to 2,700 feet. Opened in 2015, the La Jolla zipline is the newest tourist attraction of the La Jolla Tribe.