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Mother of Woman Who Survived Fatal Hiking Trip Speaks Out

By Kelsey Gerckens, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Reporter,
Published On: Mar 19 2014 08:42:22 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 19 2014 11:32:27 PM CDT

Mother of Woman Who Survived Fatal Hiking Trip Speaks Out


A man who died and a woman who was injured while hiking off Cold Springs trail were both 22 and from Ventura.

Brenden Vega's body was found Monday afternoon.  He died after trying to get help for him and his friend Saylor Guilliams.

Guilliams has been in and out of surgery the last few days, and it wasn't until Wednesday morning that she found out her beloved friend had died.  

The mother of Guilliams spoke with NewsChannel 3 on Wednesday.  Sandy Lipkin said, Guilliams and Vega have been friends for the past four years.  They dated for a few months in 2010 but they have remained friends ever since.

"My daughter said nobody knew him like me.  She wants to go the memorial.  She wants to talk about him.  She wants everyone to know how great he was," said Lipkin.

Lipkin says when her daughter didn't come home Sunday night, that's when she began to panic.

Figuring her daughter was with Vega, an all out search for the two through Ventura and Santa Barbara began.

It wasn't until Lipkin received a text from a hiker that she finally found out where her daughter was. "I got the text message, saying we found Saylor on the trail, she has two broken ankles and a broken arm, she is in pain but she is talking to us.  We have called search and rescue and we are keeping her company while we wait," said Lipkin about the text message she had received.

Lipkin's relief knowing that her daughter was found quickly turned back into grief when she realized Guilliams' friend Vega had died while trying to get the two help.  "It was devastating.  It's still devastating, because you know as a mother I am happy, at least I am not at the morgue but someone else is, I still am very conflicted about it," said Lipkin.

Lipkin is so grateful her prayers were answered and her daughter is OK.  She hopes that one day she will be able to thank the hikers who found her daughter.  "I would like to meet them. I would like to thank them, and as Jeff said, flowers on their doorstep for the rest of their lives kind of thing because without them it would be a completely different story," said Lipkin.

Guilliams is still in the hospital.  She is set to have another surgery Thursday morning.  A memorial for her friend Vega is currently being planned by his family.


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