Palos Verdes

1 Dead, 3 Injured After Falling 300 Feet Off California Cliff

A family member said the victims were hiking when they fell down the steep cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean

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A 25-year-old man who died in a fall off a cliff in Palos Verdes Estates has been identified as Jerardo Huitzil.

Coroner's officials identified him hours after he died and three others were hospitalized in the 300-foot fall.

Two others were hospitalized in critical condition and a fourth victim, Vincent Avila, received moderate injuries but was able to seek help. All three were expected to survive.

Avila, 25, of Los Angeles, is recovering at Harbor UCLA Medical Center with broken ribs and minor kidney damage.

"This is a miracle," said his mother, Irma Avila.

According to Vincent, he and three friends went to the cliffs Sunday night to go hiking and hang out. One of the friends had to go to the bathroom outside in the dark and she slipped and fell down the cliff onto the rocky beach below, Vincent said. As the three friends were trying to find her off the edge of cliff, they too slipped and fell.

Irma Avila said Vincent told her he thought Huitzil was knocked out during the fall. He didn't realize the man had died.

Vincent, who lost his shoes and his phone during the fall, managed to climb back up from the beach below to find help.

Rescue crews were called to the scene near Paseo del Mar and Avon Road shortly before 5 a.m. Monday. Two women were airlifted from the beach and hospitalized in critical condition.

Residents in the area say the cliffs, which have no guard rails where the incident took place, are dangerous, especially at night due to loose soil, slippery rocks and tree roots.

"You have to be very careful if it's dark," said Rakesh Sharma. "You can easily trip and if you trip you're gonna tumble."

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