A Whittier teen died after falling about 100 feet off a cliff while he was hiking in the Angeles National Forest Tuesday night, one day before he was set to graduate from high school, according to reports.
Jeremy Tyler St. Julian, 18, fell shortly before 8 p.m., the Los Angeles Times reported, citing the L.A. County coroner’s office. He was in the Chantry Flat area with five friends at the time.
St. Julian died at the scene, according to the Times.
The Whittier Daily News identified St. Julian as a senior at La Serna High School who played for the football team and was set to graduate Wednesday.
The school's commencement ceremony included a moment of silence for St. Julian.
“My stomach’s been turning all day thinking about it,” said Caleb Dockter, a friend of St. Julian's.
Dockter and St. Julian were both defensive linemen on the school's football team and were known for creating mischief together, he said.
“He was funny," Dockter told KTLA. "We always joked around at practice, messed around at practice, got in trouble a lot at practice. Just had a good bond.”
Other classmates said they were overcome with sadness on the day they were supposed to be celebrating.
“As soon as I heard what happened I just started bawling," student Jourdin Oliver said. "The timing of it was just terrible and no one should ever go through that.”
Another friend, Paige Tillman, described the senior as outgoing and said he was known for showing off his dance moves before and after football games.
“He was always the life of the party," she said. "He was very fun. He was an approachable guy that you could easily talk to.”
La Serna High School expressed condolences on Twitter Wednesday.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the St. Julian family and Jeremy's entire Lancer Family,” the school tweeted.
The school also sent out a statement that was obtained by the Whittier Daily News.
The statement read in part:
It is with great sadness that I inform you that yesterday evening, Jeremy St. Julian, a senior at La Serna died in a tragic hiking accident. We are all very heartbroken over this tragedy and loss.
The football team also remembered St. Julian.
“Prayers go out to the friends and family of Jeremy St. Julian. We love you and will miss you big guy. #FAMILY #RIP,” the tweet read.
The school’s graduation was set to take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Whittier Union High School District.