USA Today reports that former NFL tight end Gavin Escobar was one of two people found dead in a rock climbing accident on Wednesday in Idyllwild, California. He had barely turned 31 at the time.
Following a climbing accident report at 12:00 local time, firefighters located the bodies of Escobar and 33-year-old Chelsea Walsh in the San Bernardino National Forest. They say that Escobar and Walsh were seen scaling a cliff (the vertical surface of a rock).
Storms and rain had been in the vicinity before the tragedy, but whether or not they contributed to the mishap is unknown. I also don’t know how much rock climbing experience Escobar and Walsh have.
Escobar, who was selected by Dallas in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, played for the Cowboys for four seasons before finishing his career with the Baltimore Ravens. During that time, he had 30 receptions and eight touchdowns with the Cowboys.
Former Dallas Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar was found dead in an apparent rock climbing accident near Idyllwild, California. He was 31. https://t.co/leOPWnfScF
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 30, 2022
Escobar joined the Long Beach, California fire department after retiring from the National Football League. Soon after Escobar’s untimely death, the department held a memorial service.
A social media post said, “It is with extreme regret that we report the off-duty death of Long Beach Firefighter Gavin Escobar, who was hired on February 5, 2022, and assigned to Fire Station 3 on B-shift.” Paramedic Escobar’s family includes a wife and two small children that he will sadly be leaving behind.
On Wednesday, the bodies of two rock climbers were discovered in a secluded area near Idyllwild, one of whom was a former NFL player. Gavin Escobar, 31, and Chelsea Walsh, 33, both of Huntington Beach, California, were confirmed dead by the coroner’s office in Riverside County.
Awful, awful news. RIP Gavin Escobar. https://t.co/OOZ2C1BKm5
— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) September 30, 2022
From 2013 through 2016, Escobar was a Dallas Cowboys tight end. He was 6-foot-5 and 247 pounds, and his career stats included 30 receptions and eight touchdowns.
Cal Fire stated that at around noon on Wednesday, two wounded climbers were found near Tahquitz Rock in the San Bernardino National Forest. Both bodies were discovered by responding firefighters after a lengthy journey.
The deceased was said to have perished while attempting to scale a “rock face,” though no further information was provided by authorities. It was unclear whether or not they were professional climbers.
Escobar completed his secondary education at Rancho Margarita and continued his education at San Diego State University. When the 2013 NFL draft began, the Cowboys selected him in the second round. After his football career ended, Escobar joined the Long Beach Fire Department.
Long Beach Firefighter Gavin Escobar, who was hired on February 5, 2022, and assigned to Fire Station 3 on B-shift, died in a training accident while off duty, the department announced in a social media statement. Paramedic Escobar’s family includes a wife and two small children that he will sadly be leaving behind.
While Escobar made a remarkable recovery from his Achilles injury and was able to fully participate in training camp, he was ultimately passed up for a roster spot by Geoff Swaim, who showed superior blocking abilities.
Even though Escobar had only played in 29 offensive plays before Swaim’s season-ending injury in week 10, the Cowboys were forced to employ offensive tackle Joe Looney as the blocking tight end in short-yardage situations due to his poor blocking. Escobar ended the game with 4 receptions and a touchdown.
Although Escobar was the right size and worked hard to perfect his technique, he was never able to become a consistent in-line blocker. Escobar never started more than four games in a season or had more than nine receptions in a year because the Cowboys’ coaching staff struggled to establish a complimentary position for him in the passing game during the Jason Witten era.