A former NFL player was one of two rock climbers who were found dead Wednesday in a remote area in Southern California after apparently falling down a mountain.
The Riverside County sheriff’s coroner’s office identified the victims as 31-year-old Gavin Escobar and 33-year-old Chelsea Walsh.
Escobar played tight end for the Dallas Cowboys for four seasons starting in 2013 and ending in 2016. After his stint in Dallas, the 6-foot-5 and 250-pound athlete signed contracts with several teams in a backup capacity before eventually washing out of the NFL.
The Dallas Cowboy’s tweeted out a picture of Escobar, writing, “Forever in our hearts.”
Forever in our hearts. 💙 pic.twitter.com/Pgp7vZ1ebB
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) September 30, 2022
The Riverside County Fire Department tweeted about the incident once they had received an alert about the accident.
“Inaccessible Rescue:rpt@12:25 Tahquitz Rock, Idyllwild,” the fire department tweeted on Wednesday. “Report of two injured rock climbers. Firefighters are attempting to hike to the victim’s location. Mountain Rescue Team requested.”
Inaccessible Rescue:rpt@12:25 Tahquitz Rock, Idyllwild. Report of two injured rock climbers. Firefighters are attempting to hike to the victim’s location. Mountain Rescue Team requested. #HumberIC pic.twitter.com/eCyG8E8qxc
— CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (@CALFIRERRU) September 28, 2022
The Long Beach Fire Department, where Escobar served as a firefighter after hanging up his cleats, responded to the tragedy by releasing a statement about the former NFL player.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the off-duty death of Long Beach Firefighter Gavin Escobar,” the department said. “Hired on February 5, 2022, Firefighter Escobar was assigned to Fire Station 3 on B-shift.”
“Prior to being a Long Beach Firefighter, Gavin Escobar played professional football for the #NFL where he spent most of his time with the #DallasCowboys,” the department continued. “Firefighter Escobar leaves behind his wife and two young children.”
Prior to being a Long Beach Firefighter, Gavin Escobar played professional football for the #NFL where he spent most of his time with the #DallasCowboys. Firefighter Escobar leaves behind his wife and two young children.#ActiveDutyDeath #YourLBFD @lbfirefighters
— Long Beach Fire (CA) (@LBFD) September 30, 2022
The news of Escobar’s passing comes as a scary situation unfolded during Thursday night’s NFL matchup between the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Miami Dolphins star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was rushed to the hospital after sustaining a head injury while being sacked by a defensive lineman for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Tagovailoa hit the back of his head on the ground when he was thrown on the ground by Bengals nose tackle Josh Tupou. Tagovailoa laid on the ground for approximately 10 minutes before he was taken away on a stretcher and transported to University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
What made the injury especially scary was the fact that Tagovailoa was hit hard the week before in a game against the Buffalo Bills and he appeared to have balance issues as he stumbled off the field, a potential sign of a concussion.