San Jose State University student drowns in a lake in Sequoia National Park

San Jose State University

EAGLE LAKE (KRON) — A college student from the Bay Area was discovered dead in a lake in a National Park in California, Saturday afternoon.

According to park dispatchers, crews were notified around 3:08 p.m. of 19-year-old William “Billy” Nguyen from San Jose State University who went missing in Eagle lake in Sequoia National Park, and may have drowned. A satellite SOS device was deactivated by a group of college students and staff from the university.

Officials from SJSU said the group was at the lake as part of the Outdoor Recreation Program.

According to SJSU President Mary A. Papazian, both students and staff tried to rescue Nguyen when he sank beneath the waters surface.

A total of 16 park staff and a reconnaissance helicopter searched the lake for Nguyen throughout the night, but were unable to locate the missing male student.

The search continued the next day, and crews located Nguyen dead on Sunday, September 18, by rangers in snorkel gear.

Nguyen’s body was sent to the Tulare County Coroner’s Office.

SJSU President Mary Papazian issued a statement on Nguyen’s death.

Since the tragic death of Nguyen the university tweeted out a message to remember the life of Nguyen.


SJSU President Papazian issued a statement about Nguyen expressing her condolences.

I am writing with a heavy heart to let you know that second-year kinesiology major William “Billy” Nguyen, a San Jose native, passed away Saturday while hiking in Sequoia National Park with a group of fellow SJSU students and staff members as part of SJSU’s Outdoor Adventures recreation program.

A date for Nguyen’s service has not been scheduled at this time.

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