ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST (CBSLA.com) — A teenage hiker died after falling from a cliff in the hills above Arcadia Tuesday night.
Authorities responded to the popular hiking area just before 8 p.m.READ MORE: Councilman Ridley-Thomas To Step Back from Council, Committee Meetings
Jeremy St. Julian, 18, of Whittier, was hiking with friends when he slipped and fell about 100 feet down a cliff in the Chantry Flats Recreation Area north of Sierra Madre.
The popular football player and student — set to graduate this evening — was pronounced dead at the scene.
Megan Broussard said she was hiking nearby with two friends when they heard a “loud bang” followed by yells for help.
“I tried going down there but it was too steep,” she said.
A fire department rescue helicopter was called in to help with the recovery effort.
Wednesday evening, hundreds of St. Julian’s classmates at La Serna High gathered for their graduation.READ MORE: Authorities Investigating Death of Los Angeles Woman Who Was Fatally Shot
KCAL 9’s Rachel Kim said many had #54 was on their minds and in their hearts.
“He talked to everybody,” said friend Caleb Dockter, “He was a very funny guy, great at football. He was really known. Everyone loved him.”
He is still in shock that his friend is gone.
“My stomach’s been turning all day thinking about it at work,” he said.
This is not the first time tragedy struck this class in this manner.
“It’s like a cliff-jumping spot, a lot of people do continue to go there and stuff like that. Another friend of mine, one of his best friends actually, died there, too. A few years back, he was hiking and I guess he tried to just leap to another rock and slipped,” said Dockter.
Friends had a moment of silent for St. Julian and then released balloons. They also held a seat open for him at the ceremony with his football jersey draped over the seat.MORE NEWS: Long Beach Wilson Players Excel While Coping With Loss