Beloved KCRA 3 Employee Dies After Folsom Lake Accident; The family demands change

Beloved KCRA 3 Employee Dies After Folsom Lake Accident;  The family demands change

                The family of a 23-year-old Northern California woman who died after an accident at Folsom Lake over the weekend is demanding a change in water safety.  Katherine Hoedt, whose loved ones called Katie, died after California State Parks officials said she fell from a rope swing around 12:30 a.m. Saturday at Folsom Lake, near the Rattlesnake Bar Boat Launch area.  Katie was a beloved member of the KCRA 3 News team and was one of the morning producers.  Beth Hoedt, Katie's mother, said Katie was always happy and positive, constantly communicating with her loved ones via FaceTime.  "I can't believe this is real, you know, she's been such a bright light," Beth said.  “Today, I tried to get some work done, and it was really hard because I knew Katie would never call me again, and it would just be something I would never get used to.” Katie grew up in the Sacramento area, earned her undergraduate degree at San Jose State, and then She graduated with a master's degree from New York University at the age of 21.  Katie's father, Andy Hoedt, said Katie had a bright future ahead of her.  He feels sad that her full potential as a journalist will never be realized.  She has just made a huge impact at just 23 years old.  I just hope it's still here for another 60 or 70 years.  “I can't imagine what she could have done,” Andy said.  "It's devastating to me."  Katie is the middle child, with a younger brother and an older sister.  Her older sister, Lexi Hoedt, describes Katie as her best friend and someone she can always count on.  "That's probably the worst part, because even though I was the big sister, she was my big sister in some things," Lexi said.  “She was such a beautiful person, and she was gone too soon.”  Rope swings are not allowed at Folsom Lake, or any state parks, said Barry Smith, senior ranger for the Goldfields District of California State Parks.  “You don't know who put up the rope swing. You don't know how strong it is. You don't know the tree and the branch. Anything can snap and it's very dangerous,” Smith said. Katie fell about 30 feet and landed on Rocks by the water." He extends his well wishes to Katie's family and the KCRA 3 News team as well. "There are a lot of dangers here that people need to be aware of, and unfortunately, we're standing here today talking about Catherine.  “And we hope we don’t,” Smith said.  “These are tragic events, and we do not take them lightly.”  If California State Parks officials find rope swings, they cut them down, Smith said.  But at the accident site, several severed rope swings could be seen, and frequent visitors told KCRA 3 it was a popular spot for rope swings.  KCRA 3 asked Smith if California State Parks knew it was a popular location for rope swings.  “We've probably cut rope swings at this location before,” Smith said.  KCRA 3 also asked Smith how often officials look for rope swings.  Along Folsom Lake.  “It could be on a daily basis.  It can be on a weekly basis.  “It just depends,” Smith said.  But Katie's parents, Andy and Beth, said more needs to be done to protect people at Folsom Lake.  They told KCRA 3 they want to see specific signs warning against rope swings around the lake and especially near popular rope swing sites.  “If Katie had seen information like this or signs or been taught, she would never have ridden that rope swing.”  Beth said.  Katie's family also said they want to see an additional effort from state park officials to eliminate rope swings.  “Either cut it off or even better, cut the branch off and get rid of the branch at all, so you can't design anything there,” Andy said. “We don't want this to happen to anyone else, ever, and that's important to us.” Smith also said another person was injured in Folsom Lake on Aug. 1 due to a rope swing accident. An 18-year-old was taken to the hospital after a medical call was made to parking officers at Rattlesnake Bar in Folsom Lake. 
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                <strong class="dateline">Folsom Lake, California —</strong>                                             <p>The family of a 23-year-old Northern California woman who died after an accident at Folsom Lake over the weekend is demanding a change in water safety.

Katherine Hoedt, whose loved ones called Katie, died after California State Parks officials said she fell from a rope swing around 12:30 a.m. Saturday at Folsom Lake, near the Rattlesnake Bar Boat Launch area.

Katie was a beloved member of the KCRA 3 News team and was one of our morning producers. Beth Hoedt, Katie’s mother, said Katie was always happy and positive, and was constantly communicating with her loved ones via FaceTime.

“I can’t believe this is real, you know, she’s been such a shining light,” Beth said. “Today, I tried to get some work done, and it was really hard because I knew Katie would never call me again, and it would just be something I would never get used to.”

Katie grew up in the Sacramento area, earned her undergraduate degree at San Jose State, and graduated with a master’s degree from New York University at the age of 21. Katie’s father, Andy Hoedt, said Katie had a bright future ahead of her. He feels sad that her full potential as a journalist will never be realized.

She has made a huge impact at just 23 years old. I wish she was here for another 60 or 70 years. “I can’t imagine what she could have done,” Andy said. “It’s devastating to me.”

Katie is the middle child and has a younger brother and an older sister. Her older sister, Lexi Hoedt, calls Katie her best friend and someone she can always count on.

“That’s probably the worst part, because even though I was the big sister, she was my big sister in some things,” Lexi said. “She was just this beautiful woman, and she was gone too soon.”

Rope swings at Folsom Lake

Rope swings are not allowed at Folsom Lake or any state parks, said Barry Smith, senior ranger for the Goldfields District of California State Parks.

“You don’t know who put up the rope swing. You don’t know how strong it is. You don’t know the tree and the branch. Anything can give in and it’s very dangerous,” Smith said.

Katie fell about 30 feet and landed on the rocks next to the water, Smith said. He extends his well wishes to Katie’s family and the KCRA 3 News team as well.

“There are a lot of risks here that people need to be aware of, and unfortunately, we’re standing here today talking about Katherine. And we wish we weren’t,” Smith said. “These are tragic events, and we don’t take them lightly.”

If California State Parks officials find rope swings, they cut them down, Smith said. But at the accident site, several severed rope swings could be seen, and frequent visitors told KCRA 3 it was a popular spot for rope swings. KCRA 3 asked Smith if California State Parks knew it was a popular rope swing location.

“We’ve probably cut rope swings at this location before,” Smith said.

KCRA 3 also asked Smith how often officials look for rope swings along Folsom Lake.

“It could be on a daily basis. It could be on a weekly basis. It just depends,” Smith said.

But Katie’s parents, Andy and Beth, said more needs to be done to protect people at Folsom Lake. They told KCRA 3 they want to see specific signs warning of rope swings spread around the lake and especially near popular rope swing sites.

“If Katie had seen information like this or signs or learned, she would never have gotten on that rope swing,” Beth said.

Katie’s family also said they would like to see an additional effort from state park officials to eliminate rope swings.

“Either cut it off, or better yet, cut the branch off and get rid of it at all, so you can’t form anything there,” Andy said. “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else, ever, and that’s important to us.”

Smith also said another person was injured at Folsom Lake on Aug. 1 due to a rope swing accident.

An 18-year-old was taken to the hospital after a medical call was made to parking officers at Rattlesnake Bar in Folsom Lake.

                                </div>        (Tags for translation)accident

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