Ex-NFL Player Gavin Escobar Killed While Rock Climbing – NBC Los Angeles

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Former NFL tight end Gavin Escobar and a 33-year-old Huntington Beach woman were identified Thursday as the two people killed while rock climbing in the Southern California mountains.

Escobar, 31, and Chelsea Walsh were fatally injured at about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday near the Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout, southeast of Humber Park, in the Idyllwild area.

Escobar played in the NFL for five seasons — four with the Dallas Cowboys and one with the Baltimore Ravens — from 2013 to 2017. The tight end from San Diego State University had 30 catches for 333 yards and eight touchdowns. Escobar was briefly a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gavin’s family,” said San Diego State Head Coach Brady Hoke. “I know his wife, Sarah, and daughters, Josey and Charlotte, were everything to him. Gavin was a great man, father, son and teammate, and will be deeply missed by all.”

SDSU’s director of athletic, John David Wicker, described Escobar as the “epitome of a student-athlete, and a leader on and off the field.”

His professional football career included a stint in the now defunct Alliance of American Football.

Escobar also worked for the Long Beach Fire Department.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the off-duty death of Long Beach Firefighter Gavin Escobar,” the department said in a statement. “Hired on February 5, 2022, Firefighter Escobar was assigned to Fire Station 3 on B-shift.”

Escobar and Walsh died while climbing a rock face in steep terrain in the San Jacinto Mountains about 100 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Details about a cause of death were not immediately available.

Two witnesses saw the victims and called 911. Fire-rescue personnel, including a crew in a helicopter, were dispatched to the site for a search-and-rescue operation.

Firefighters hiked up a steep trail to reach the location. Escobar and Walsh were died at the scene.

Rain fell that day in Southern California, but authorities did not say whether that was a factor.

Escobar is survived by his wife and two children.

The matter was turned over to sheriff’s deputies following the discovery.

The investigation is ongoing.

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