Poway girl dies in fall at Yellowstone National Park - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Poway girl dies in fall at Yellowstone National Park

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POWAY (CBS 8) - Officials are Pomerado Elementary School are preparing to welcome students back from summer vacation under tragic circumstances, following the death of a student at Yellowstone National Park.

Eight-year-old Zahra Allahyari was hiking with family members along the trail to the brink of the Lower Falls Sunday morning when she stepped off the trail, lost her footing and fell approximately 550 feet into the canyon. 

This is the third accidental death at Yellowstone this year, and the first on that particular trail since 2009.

At 308 feet, the Lower Falls is the biggest and most famous waterfall in Yellowstone. There are several different ways to see the Lower Falls, including overlooks and a trail that takes you to an observation deck. Getting there can be treacherous, especially if you veer – even slightly – off the trail.

Zahra was about two-thirds of the way down when she fell. 

She was a student at Pomerado Elementary. On Monday, the school's principal Luis Ortiz released the following statement:  

"Dear Pomerado Elementary Families:

It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter informing you that one of our students, Zahra Allahyari, passed away on Sunday in Yellowstone National Park. I ask you to join the staff and students of Pomerado Elementary School as well as the entire family of  Poway Unified School District in keeping her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

Our staff was notified of her passing this afternoon. Counselors will be present at Pomerado on Wednesday through the end of the week to speak with any and all students, staff and families who are affected by this tragedy.

The grieving process is a normal, natural, and healing result of loss; and pain is to be expected. Young people of all ages exhibit various grief reactions. Guilt, anxiety, anger, fear and sadness may be universal, and the expressions of these emotions may vary from day to day. Helping a young person through this difficult time may often feel overwhelming, however, knowledge of common reactions to loss may help you recognize behavior for what it is – grieving. Resources for grief are available on our District website for families at: http://www.powayusd.com/schools/safety/copingStrategies{dot}shtml

I realize that the passing of a fellow student is extremely traumatic to students, staff, parents and the entire school community. Our District will be enlisting the aid of additional counselors to be available for as long as necessary. Please call me at (858) 748-1320 or visit my office should you have questions or concerns."

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