Her three friends rushed to help — and also stumbled over the 300ft Palos Verdes cliff
A man has been killed and three of his friends injured after all four fell off a 300ft cliff in Palos Verdes.
The foursome were taking a night hike at the southern California beauty spot on Sunday when the accident occurred.
According to one of the survivors — Vincent Avila, 25 — he, his 25-year-old friend Jerardo Huitzil and two female companions were hanging out on the clifftop near Paseo Del Mar around 11 PM, when one of the women went to relieve herself in the dark — and slipped over the edge.
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Her three friends rushed to help her, and all three stumbled over the 300ft drop, too.
The alarm was not raised until 4:40 AM the next morning when Avila, who miraculously only suffered minor injuries, managed to climb back to the top and call for help. He had lost his phone and his shoes in the fall, and had to flag down a police officer.
A rescue effort immediately got underway involving Los Angeles Fire Department and Palos Verdes Estates Police; fire crews descended down the cliff face using a rope system.
One of the women was hoisted to the top and placed in an ambulance, while the other was airlifted straight to hospital. Both women were in critical condition, but are expected to survive.
Huitzil however was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Both of them told us there were hanging at the cliff’s edge,” Palos Verdes Police Captain Steve Barber told CBS News.
“The female who we did interview stated she slipped. And as she was starting to fall, her friends, all three of them, tried to save her. And in doing so, all four of them went over the cliff.”
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Avila meanwhile suffered a broken rib and internal damage to one of his kidneys. He also had several deep cuts and bruises to his legs and face, much of which, his mother Irma told FOX11, he suffered on the climb back up.
She said her son thought only an hour had passed between the fall and the rescue, when really it was closer to five. He also believed his friend had been knocked unconscious in the fall, and had not yet been informed he had died.
Irma told the outlet all four had been friends since high school, and frequently hiked together.
LA County Fire Captain Wade Kelsey described the spot as “extremely dangerous.”
“There’s no fencing in the area,” he said. “There’s sloping to where it just goes off to a sheer cliff, and the majority of the area here is very unstable, very dangerous if you get close to the edge of this cliff without any sort of protection.”
One local resident, Tatiana Osoimalo, told CBS it is even more treacherous at night.
“It’s really nice here, but these cliffs are really slippery, so it’s pretty dangerous,” she said. “You can’t see anything. Nothing in the ocean. Everything is really black, you just see the headlights of the cars.”
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