Two rock climbers were found dead near Idyllwild on Wednesday. One of them was a former NFL player. Gavin Escobar, 31 and Chelsea Walsh, 33, both of Huntington Beach, California, were killed. The Riverside County coroner’s office told us their names.
From 2013 to 2016, Escobar was a tight end for the Dallas Cowboys. He was 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 247 pounds. In his career, he caught 30 passes and scored 8 touchdowns. Cal Fire said that around noon on Wednesday, two people were hurt in a climbing accident near Tahquitz Rock in the San Bernardino National Forest.
When firefighters hiked to the place, they found that both of them had died. Officials said that the people died while climbing a “rock face,” but they didn’t have any other information. No one knew if they had climbed before or if they were new to it.
Escobar went to Rancho Margarita High School and then San Diego State University. In the 2013 NFL draught, the Cowboys picked him in the second round. After he quit football, Escobar became a firefighter in Long Beach. “It is with deep sadness that we announce the off-duty death of Long Beach Firefighter Gavin Escobar,” the department wrote on social media. “Firefighter Escobar was hired on February 5, 2022, and was assigned to Fire Station 3 on B-shift.” “Firefighter Escobar’s wife and two young children will miss him.”
Inaccessible Rescue:rpt@12:25 Tahquitz Rock, Idyllwild. Report of two injured rock climbers. Firefighters are attempting to hike to the victim’s location. Mountain Rescue Team requested. #HumberIC pic.twitter.com/eCyG8E8qxc
— CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (@CALFIRERRU) September 28, 2022
Rain and thunderstorms hit the area earlier on Wednesday, but the weather hasn’t been said to be a cause of the deaths.
At the beginning of the year, a hiker died at Tahquitz Peak, which is also in the San Bernardino Forest. It looks like the hiker fell on rocky, isolated terrain and died. In July, a hiker was hurt on a trail east of Pine Cove near Idyllwild. She had to be taken down from a mountaintop by firefighters.