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Police Sgt. David Bavencoff, from California, saved a girl from falling off Angels Landing in Zion National Park. He was recently honored for his actions.

ZION NATIONAL PARK — A California police detective has received an award for saving a hiker's life in Zion National Park.

Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recently presented the prestigious Citizen’s Award for Bravery to David Bavencoff for his actions to save the life of a hiker who slipped off Angels Landing Trail.

In March 2010, Bavencoff was hiking with his family on the popular trail. As they neared the end of the trail, he witnessed a teenage girl, who was also hiking with her family, slipping off the trail. He immediately grabbed the girl by her ankle and stopped her fall, which would have probably been fatal.

Bavencoff and the girl’s father then pulled her back up on the trail to safety. No one reported the incident and park officials knew nothing of the rescue until Bavencoff’s supervisor heard the tale when he asked the detective about his vacation.

The Citizen’s Award for Bravery is granted to private citizens for heroic acts or unusual bravery in the face of danger, particularly saving a life on property owned by or entrusted to the Interior Department.

All visitors to Zion National Park are reminded to remain vigilant when near exposed cliffs. Attention to the terrain and focus on footing are essential for a safe experience.