Rockslide kills Modesto woman at popular lake

Union Democrat: A falling boulder killed a 42-year-old Modesto woman and injured her young son Saturday as they were enjoying a family fishing trip at Pinecrest Lake.

The family was fishing with friends on a granite slope below a popular hiking trail that rims the lake when a boulder the size of a small SUV broke loose above them sometime after 11 a.m. and struck Kimberley Barnes, authorities said.

Barnes was knocked into the lake.

Her 5-year-old son, whose name was not released, was also injured in the accident, said Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Lt. George Ruckman. Barnes’ husband, who sheriff’s officials would not identify, was not injured.

An unknown boater pulled Barnes ??? who suffered massive injuries ??? from the water, Ruckman said.

“Two feet either way, the rock would have missed her,” he said.

U.S. Forest Service emergency crews arrived at 11:32 a.m., 10 minutes after the first 911 call, said Jerry Snyder, spokesman for the Stanislaus National Forest.

Barnes was flown by helicopter to Sonora Regional Medical Center, where she died from her injuries.

Her son suffered back pain and was taken to the same hospital by ambulance, Ruckman said.

The rocks appear to have dislodged naturally, Snyder said. Water from melting snow sometimes removes soils that hold rocks in place, he said.

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