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Former NFL player, another climber die in rock climbing accident

Gavin Escobar
Posted at 1:35 PM, Sep 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-30 15:47:23-04

Two people, one of which was a former NFL player, died following a rock climbing accident in Southern California.

The Riverside County sheriff's coroner's office identified the victims as 33-year-old Chelsea Walsh and 31-year-old Gavin Escobar.

On Wednesday, the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department said on Twitter that around 12:25 p.m. local time, they received a report about two injured climbers at Tahquitz Rock in Idyllwild.

Officials said rescuers hiked to the victim’s location and found both victims dead at the scene.

The department said the incident was turned over to the Riverside County Sheriff's Office.

On Thursday, the coroner released the names of the victims.

According to the Associated Press, Escobar played four seasons as a back up tight end with the Dallas Cowboys from 2013 to 2016. He also spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins, before ending his football career in 2019.

The Long Beach Fire Department told the Associated Press that Escobar was hired onto the department in February.

Tahquitz Rock is a popular rock-climbing spot that is located in the San Jacinto mountain range, the sheriff's office said.

In 2000, two climbers from Los Angeles died after falling 200 feet, the Los Angeles Times reported.