Two Pittsburg Teens Drown While on Sierra Camping Trip

Amador County Undersheriff Jim Wegner said the teens were jumping off rocks into the Mokelumne River when they were swept away downstream.

Two Pittsburg teens drowned Saturday while on a camping trip in Amador County, according to the Amador County Sheriff's Office.

The victims - Zuleica Miranda Ruiz, 18, and Brandon Carranza, 19 - were cousins, according to Pittsburg Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Janet Schultz.

Ruiz was scheduled to graduate from Pittsburg High School next week. Carranza graduated last year, Schulze said in a letter to the school community.

"Our deepest condolences go out to the families of these two teens with such bright futures ahead of them," she wrote. "It is a time of enormous sorrow."

Ruiz participated in the Explorers Program and the Foot Pursuit Running Club with the Pittsburg Police Department. She was planning to attend Sacramento State in the Fall. Carranza was active in the school's AVID program.

Amador County Undersheriff Jim Wegner said the two teens were jumping off rocks into the Mokelumne River when they were swept away downstream around 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Wegner said the water was moving very swiftly over the weekend. 

There was no cell service in the area so someone had to drive to call 911.

Sheriff's deputies, a swift water rescue team and a California Highway Patrol helicopter searched for the teens, while PG&E lowered the flow of the river, according to Wegner.

Ruiz and Carranza were eventually located and pronounced dead at the scene.

Schulze said grief counselors are available at the school to speak with students about the tragedy. The school is also planning a vigil at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The teenagers' families set up GoFundMe fundraising accounts to help pay for burial costs. Zulieca Ruiz's is here and Brandon Carranza's is here.

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