Millions of people may never see a rainbow — whether double or not — the same way thanks to Paul Vasquez.
The California man who became famous for a 2010 viral video featuring his over-the-top reaction while filming what he called a “double rainbow” in Yosemite National Park died at 57 in John C. Fremont Hospital on Saturday, the Mariposa County Coroner’s Office told the Modesto Bee.
The 10-year-old video, which has been viewed more than 47 million times on YouTube, featured Vasquez exclaiming, “It’s a double rainbow all the way across the sky!”
He also laughed and cried, becoming overcome with emotion while taking in the scene about 10 miles from his home just outside Mariposa. The video took off in 2010 when late-night host Jimmy Kimmel tweeted it.
Vasquez grew up in East Los Angeles and became a Los Angeles County firefighter. He also worked for the National Park Service at Yosemite, according to a 2015 CNN profile. He is survived by two adult children with his ex-wife.
He wrote on Facebook on May 6 that he was getting tested for the coronavirus.
“I’ll get my results in two days, however at this point I’m fairly certain that I don’t have it,” he wrote. “I didn’t have a fever. Something else is going on with me.”
Two days earlier, he posted that he thought he might be having a heart attack and had struggled to catch his breath after walking 50 feet. He added that his lungs were feeling congested and he had a 100-degree fever.
“Please don’t give me any advice, or sympathy I don’t want it,” he wrote. “I seriously doubt that I have the virus because I’ve been pretty careful but who knows right? Like I said I am never stepping into another ER or hospital again, that’s where people go to die, I don’t want to die in a hospital hearing beeps, alarms, getting poked and woken up, hell no!
“Whatever happens I’m ready for it, I’m happy to experience it all, it might only be pollen and I’ll have more time in my apartment, if it’s the virus and it’s my time to recycle I look forward to coming back to a new body and starting over, whatever happens I’m enjoying the ride.”