Sacramento teen who died after American River rescue near Ancil Hoffman Park identified

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An Afghan teenager who was plucked from the American River in Carmichael on Saturday and later died has been identified by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office.

Omar Sofizada, 18, was pulled from the water east of Ancil Hoffman Park about 4:45 p.m. by a Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crew. Officials from the Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office and Sacramento County park rangers assisted in the incident, Metro Fire said in a social media post.

Sofizada was taken to a hospital in critical condition and later died.

The teen had recently immigrated to the Sacramento area with his family from Afghanistan, and was scheduled to graduate in a few weeks from River City High School, according to Washington Unified School District officials.

In a Facebook post Monday, the school district said, “We cannot begin to express the sadness our community is experiencing as we learned of the tragic drowning death of Omar Sofizada over the weekend.

“He was a very kind and hardworking student, dedicated to his studies and always making sure to be mindful of his classmates. His presence is undoubtedly going to be missed throughout our entire school community.”

On Sunday, crews rescued another person from the American River near Discovery Park in downtown Sacramento. According to Sacramento Fire Department officials, the man had walked into the river Sunday evening and did not initially resurface.

As temperatures soar, public officials urge residents to be safe when swimming in the American and Sacramento rivers and recommend wearing life jackets. Churning with snowmelt from the Sierra, the water is cold and flowing fast, officials said.

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