A memorial service is scheduled Monday for a 14-year-old Santa Monica student who was killed last week when she fell 2,000 feet down a mountainside in Sequoia National Forest.
Park officials said Holly Bendik of Los Angeles, a ninth-grader at Crossroads School, was on a school-organized environmental education trip Saturday with 26 other students in the national park, 50 miles east of Fresno. On Saturday morning, Bendik accompanied nine students and three instructors on a cross-country ski trek in the Big Baldy area.
While the rest of the group skied most of the way, Bendik, two other students and two instructors took off their skis and walked to the top of the ridge. As they were descending at about 10:45 a.m., Bendik slipped and fell down a series of steep slopes, according to Malinee Crapsey with the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. One member of the group hiked down the slope and tried unsuccessfully to revive Bendik using cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The Tulare County Coroner's Office said Bendik died of neck and skull fractures.
Crossroads Headmaster Roger Weaver said the memorial service for Bendik, to be held at the school, is open only to Crossroads students and faculty.