Investigation Underway After Downey Students’ Rescue From Mt. Baldy

A team-building exercise at Downey High School ended in a search and air rescue last week after more than a dozen students became stranded on a hike at Mt. Baldy. Now the Downey Unified School District is investigating the incident.

Around 51 students plus staff hiked the trails last Monday as part of the exercise. At 7 pm, the Sheriff’s Department was notified that a group of 10 students and some staff members had become stuck on the mountain. All but two students were rescued from the mountain that day.

The two students who were left behind, aged 15 and 16, spent a cold night on Mt. Baldy before helicopter crews could locate and evacuate them from the mountain. They are now home with their families and appear to have been uninjured, the district said. School officials say they'll ensure nothing like this ever happens again.

At 10,068 feet, Mt. Baldy is the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains. Strandings and rescues are not uncommon.