23-Year-Old News Producer Dies in Rope Swing Incident

A 23-year-old California news producer tragically died after falling from a banned rope swing while at Folsom Lake.

Kathryn Hoedt, a morning news producer for KCRA 3, was at Folsom Lake in Placer County on Saturday when she fell 30 feet from a rope swing and landed on the rocks near the water, The Sacramento Bee reported. 

Following the fall, Hoedt’s friends were able to retrieve her and bring her to a nearby boat ramp where an off-duty doctor performed CPR on her, according to the Sacramento Bee. First responders arrived on the scene and the fire department transported her to a nearby medical center where she unfortunately died, the new site reported. 

“Katie had a bright and vibrant personality,” her team at KCRA 3 shared. “And she was proud of her work as a journalist to bring stories to the community. Her coworkers universally said she was one of the nicest people they ever worked with.”

California State Park Officials told KRCA 3 that rope swings are not allowed at any state park, including Folsom Lake. 

“You don’t know who put the rope swing up. You don’t know how strong that is. You don’t know the tree, the branch. Anything can give out and it’s extremely dangerous,” Chief Ranger of the Gold Fields District of California State Parks Barry Smith told KCRA 3.

Smith said that when rope swings are found by officials they are cut down and that officials search the Folsom Lake area for swings on either a daily or weekly basis, KCRA 3 reported. 

Hoedt’s family is urging officials to take stronger action to protect Folsom Lake visitors and warn about the dangers of rope swings. 

“Had Katie seen information like that or signs or been educated, she would have never gotten on that rope swing,” Hoedt’s mother, Beth told KCRA3. 

“Either cutting them down or even better yet, cutting the branch off and getting rid of the branch at all, so you can’t fashion anything there,” Hoedt’s father, Andy said. “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else, ever, and that’s important to us.”

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