18-year-old critically injured in fall from La Jolla cliff

• He was taking pictures of friends, lost his footing and fell more than 75 feet

By Susan Shroder

Special to La Jolla Light

An 18-year-old who fell off a La Jolla cliff while taking photographs Tuesday night (July 1) was rescued after plunging about 75 to 90 feet to the rocky shore below, authorities said.

A friend of the victim’s called 911 about 10:50 p.m. to report the fall at Coast Boulevard and Coast Walk, San Diego police said. He was with a group of friends described by authorities as other teens, and they said they could not see or hear him after he fell.

Firefighters, paramedics, lifeguards and police responded. The teen was located at the base of a sheer cliff in an area at the tide line where there was no sand, said Lee Swanson, San Diego fire-rescue spokesman. He was conscious but had suffered major head trauma described by San Diego fire-rescue Battalion Chief David Gerboth as life-threatening.

The teen had walked over a low railing on the cliff to take pictures of friends on the street side, then apparently lost his footing, Swanson said.

He was hoisted by a San Diego Fire-Rescue helicopter crew and flown to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.

San Diego police said Wednesday that the victim lives in the Clairemont area of San Diego.

In January, a 25-year-old college graduate student who was visiting a relative in San Diego died after falling at Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach. Anna Bachman of Santa Rosa was photographing a sunset when the ground beneath her gave way and she fell 40 to 50 feet in the area of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Ladera Street.