IDYLLWILD, Calif. (CNS) — A former Dallas Cowboys tight end was one of two hikers killed trying to climb a mountain east of Idyllwild, authorities said Thursday.
Gavin Escobar, 31, and Chelsea Walsh, 33, both of Huntington Beach, died around 12:20 p.m. Wednesday near the Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout southeast of Humber Park in the San Bernardino National Forest, according to Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Escobar was a former professional football player who spent four years with the Cowboys and also worked with teams such as the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins. He played college football at San Diego State University.
He worked as an off-duty firefighter for the city of Long Beach. He joined the agency in February, according to a Facebook post from the department.
Escobar is survived by his wife and two young children, according to the Long Beach Fire Department.
Officials said the victims died while climbing a rock face, but no further details were available.
We didn’t know if they were seasoned climbers or amateurs.
Two witnesses spotted the victims and called 911, managing to get marginal cellphone reception in the remote area.
According to the Riverside County Fire Department, multiple engine crews and a sheriff’s helicopter crew were dispatched to the scene to mount a search and rescue operation.
Firefighters traveled up a steep path, reaching where the victims were spotted at 1.20pm.
Escobar and Walsh were pronounced dead at the scene.
The case was turned over to sheriff’s deputies after the discovery.
The investigation is ongoing.
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