Local Hiker Killed by Falling Boulder

sm-eco-preserveTEMECULA, Calif. (KTLA) — A hiker died Monday after being crushed by a falling boulder near Temecula.

23-year old Nicholas Lovato of Menifee was hiking with four other people into the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve.

His companions say he was sitting on a rock outcropping when it suddenly gave way.

Lovato fell about 30 feet into a river bed and was struck by a falling boulder.

Officials say he died instantly.

The 4,300-acre wilderness reserve is managed by San Diego State University and is off limits to the public.

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