Former Dallas Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar was one of two people killed in a rock climbing accident in California Wednesday, authorities say. The bodies of Escobar, 31, and fellow Huntington Beach resident Chelsea Walsh, 33, were found in a remote area of the San Bernardino National Forest near Idyllwild, USA Today reports. The Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department said firefighters hiked to Tahquitz Rock and found both bodies after receiving a distress call, reports the AP. The formation has steep granite cliffs and "is subject to periodic rockfall," per Climbing. A brief but heavy rain with hail was reported on the day of the accident.
Escobar spent most of his playing career as a backup tight end for the Cowboys. He also had brief stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Miami Dolphins before his playing career ended in the now-defunct Alliance of American Football league in 2019. Earlier this year, he became a firefighter with the Long Beach Fire Department. "It is with deep sadness that we announce the off-duty death of Long Beach Firefighter Gavin Escobar. Hired on February 5, 2022, Firefighter Escobar was assigned to Fire Station 3 on B-shift," the department said in an Instagram post. "Firefighter Escobar leaves behind his wife and two young children." The Cowboys and San Diego State, Escobar's alma mater, also paid their respects, Fox reports. (Read more NFL stories.)