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Accident on Highway 120 - photo Toulumne County Sheriff's Office

Woman Trapped Overnight After Crash Near Yosemite Has Died

TUOLUMNE COUNTY — A woman involved in an accident that left her and two injured companions alone overnight down an embankment off Highway 120 on Monday evening has passed away, according to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are sad to report that Maria Fissman — the woman extricated from the vehicle — did pass away from her injuries last night at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto,” said the Sheriff’s Office on their Facebook page this morning.

Fissman, 57, was part of a group of 10 German tourists on their way back from a trip to Yosemite when the GMC Yukon in which she was riding crashed off a steep embankment, leaving her pinned inside the vehicle overnight.

Monika Shmidt, 63, and Reiki Regel, 16, were also in the Yukon at the time of the crash. Shmidt was reportedly ejected during the accident, and Regel was able to free herself from the wreckage, but all suffered major injuries.

The women were reported missing at 9:30 p.m. on Monday night, and Tuolumne County Sheriff’s deputies along with Search & Rescue, Cal Fire-Groveland Hotshots, Forest Service Fire, CHP, and ground and air ambulances assisted in the rescue efforts.

The vehicle was located on Tuesday afternoon at 1:55 p.m. by the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue team, a half-mile east of Buck Meadows off a steep embankment.

Air ambulances were dispatched to the scene for medical aid and transportation. Shmidt and Regel were airlifted to Modesto hospitals as emergency crews worked to extricate Fissman from the Yukon.

At 4:10 p.m., she was successfully freed from the wreck and transported to a landing zone at Sonora Regional Medical Center where EMS personnel were met by an air ambulance.

“Monika and Reiki are in stable condition. We send our thoughts and prayers to Maria’s friends and family,” said the Sheriff’s Office in their post.



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