Former NFL tight end Gavin Escobar, who played for the Dallas Cowboys, died Wednesday after a rock climbing accident as he attempted to scale a California mountainside.

Escobar, 31, and another person, identified as 33-year-old Chelsea Walsh, were climbing near the Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout in the San Bernardino National Forest, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Former NFL Player And Woman Died Trying To Scale California Mountainside With Steep Granite Cliffs

Rescuers responded to a distress call from two witnesses around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department tweeted.

The rescue team eventually located both climbers dead in a remote area. While it did rain earlier in the day, officials did not immediately reveal if weather was a factor in their deaths.

Walsh had previously posted pictures on her own Instagram about scaling the steep granite cliffs of Tahquitz Peak – a popular destination with climbers in the area.

The Associated Press reports two other climbers had previously fallen 200 feet to their deaths back in 2000.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys tweeted a pictured of Escobar, which read: “In memory of Dallas Cowboys Tight End Gavin Escobar, 1991-2022,” adding a caption of “Forever in our hearts.”

Escobar Honored By Dallas Cowboys After Playing In The NFL From 2013-2017

Escobar retired from the league in 2017, playing four seasons after being drafted by Dallas back in 2013, and also played at San Diego State in college, having sat out the 2009 season after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

He returned in a year later posted 1,646 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns over the next three seasons for the university.

The tight end also had stints with the Chiefs, Ravens, Browns and Dolphins, but is likely best known for his time as a Dallas Cowboy.

He ultimately played in 64 NFL games during his professional career, with seven starts, 30 receptions for 333 yards and eight touchdowns.

Escobar had been working as a Long Beach firefighter since retiring from the league.

Former Dallas Tight End Survived By Wife And Two Children, Had Previously Overcome Testicular Cancer

He is survived by his wife and two children, the Long Beach Fire Department said.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the off-duty death of Long Beach firefighter, Gavin Escobar,” the fire department said on Instagram. “

Hired on February 5, 2022, Firefighter Escobar was assigned for Fire Station 3 on B-Shift.”

Escobar had also previously overcome testicular cancer at the age of 18, and underwent surgery to remove a tumor. He later had lymph nodes removed from his stomach as well.

He had worn custom cleats during a 2016 game in Minnesota that read “feeling nuts” on them in an effort to help raise awareness about the issue.

“There were a couple slogans [to pick from], so I picked the ‘feeling nuts’ one,” Escobar said at the time. “I know they tried to get that to stick a couple years ago. I saw it, thought it was a good one, so I picked that one.”

Escobar went on to say that “if anyone’s having pain down there, don’t feel ashamed. Go see a doctor, talk to your friends. Get it checked out.”

The woman that died, Chelsea Walsh, appears to have been an avid climber according to her Instagram page, which has a bio that reads “Director + Cinematographer at @roadtripnation + Part 107 + climber of rocks. Bad at social media. Editor & Cinematographer for ‘LIGHT’”

It’s not exactly clear the relationship between Escobar and Walsh, however she does not appear to be his wife, who’s named Sarah in previous reports.






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