On Family Trip to Scatter Ashes, a Double Tragedy

Husband drowns trying to save wife; his dad drowns trying to save him
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2023 2:30 AM CDT
Husband Drowns Trying to Save Wife; His Dad Drowns Trying to Save Him
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / slavadubrovin)

An unimaginable tragedy took place during a family's trip to Puerto Rico to scatter ashes, leaving the family to return home missing two members. While scattering his grandfather's ashes in the ocean, Damian Walker jumped into the water to save his wife when she was swept away by a rip current. Walker's father, Luis Walker, then went in after his son to help. Neither of them survived, though Luis Walker's body has not been found. Damian Walker's wife made it out of the water alive. "Damian jumped in, as he 100% lived his life with that hero mentality," says the owner of the Phoenix CrossFit gym where Walker was a coach. "He left this life exactly how he lived it. And that was putting others 100% before him."

"Damian so loved life, he loved the ocean, had a huge heart for animals of all kinds and most of all, Damian loved his wife Salmeh with all that he had and more," reads his obituary. Adds a GoFundMe campaign set up for the family, "Coach Damian gave the ultimate sacrifice and lost his life while saving family members from the rip currents in Puerto Rico this past Friday, March 3, 2023. Coach Damian has been with WildFire [CrossFit] for 10 years. He was the spark that lit the fire for so many people." The gym has created a "hero" workout to honor him, 12 News reports. A celebration of life will be held at the gym on April 2, the day he would have turned 34, AZFamily reports. (More Puerto Rico stories.)

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