Last week, two people were rescued near the San Juan Rapids on the American River near Sacramento, California. But the third man did not make it.
It turns out that the man who did not survive was 30-year-old Joshua Brandon Crane and that he died helping the other two survive, CBS News reported.
Rescuers from the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District who were called to the scene Friday later discovered that Crane had noticed two swimmers struggling in the river and jumped in to help, according to KXTV-TV.
The two people Crane tried to save made it out of the river, KXTV reported. Crane’s body, however, was found downstream of the rapids on Saturday.
“This river could potentially be unforgiving,” Capt. Parker Wilbourn with Metro Fire of Sacramento told KXTV.
In the aftermath of the rescue and Crane’s death, it was revealed that Crane was a fourth-year medical student at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine.
He was also a Navy veteran.
Crane’s sister, Jessica, spoke about how her brother and his humility and constant willingness to help, KXTV reported:
“My brother was a humble guy and anybody who knew him knew he had the biggest heart ever imaginable. He would do anything, He’d give you the shirt off his back and just be there,” she told the station. “That’s something that I knew that he would do. No matter no matter what.”
“There were two females that were stuck on tubes and my brother was on a paddleboard and they were asking for help. So he jumped off his paddleboard, like he would (to) help anybody, and no hesitation, no questions asked, jumped off his paddleboard and jumped in the water and got them out.”
In the coming days, UC Davis is working with Crane’s family to memorialize him.
“Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones as we support each other through this heartbreaking loss. He was an extraordinary young man devoted to helping others,” the school wrote in a statement that was posted on Facebook.
“That’s the biggest thing that gets me, is that a great life was cut short. I know he touched a lot of lives, and he made a lot of great friends and people along the way,” Jessica Crane told KXTV.
“Every minute spent with him was the best smiles and the best time, and he was my best friend, my biggest motivator, my hero,” she added. [A]nd he proved that in everything that he did.”
A GoFundMe has been started to help support Crane’s family. With a goal of $50,000, it had $25,500 as of Tuesday afternoon.
“He lived to serve and help people, and that’s who he is in a nutshell,” Jessica Crane said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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