1 Dead, 3 Injured After Group Falls 300 Feet Down Calif. Cliff While Trying to Save Friend

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One person died and three others were injured after falling over a cliff in southern California, according to multiple reports.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said it was alerted to the incident near Paseo Del Mar around 4:30 a.m. Monday morning, according to KABC.

Fire dispatch supervisor Martin Rangel said firefighters located all four victims about 300 feet from where they fell, KTVU reported.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office has since identified Jerardo Huitzil, 25, as the victim killed by the fall. Two other victims were listed in critical condition upon being rescued, per NBC Los Angeles.

PEOPLE has reached out to the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department and LAFD for comment.

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Vincent Avila, 25, of Los Angeles, told NBC Los Angeles that he and his friends were hanging out by the cliffs in Palos Verdes Estates when one of his female friends slipped and fell down the ledge while attempting to go to the bathroom outdoors.

Avila said he and the three others went looking for the woman before they eventually slipped off the cliff themselves.

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Despite losing his shoes during the fall, Avila was able to climb off of the rock-covered beach, where all four victims landed, and sought help, per NBC Los Angeles.

Avila's mother, Irma Avila, told the outlet that her son believed Huitzil had been knocked unconscious mid-fall and was unaware that his friend had died.

Avila's mother was relieved that her son survived, telling the outlet, "This is a miracle."

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Crews reached the remaining victims' precarious position via rope line systems and aircrafts, according to CBS Los Angeles. Footage from several local outlets show helicopters hovering around the area as emergency vehicles gathered near the ledge where the deadly fall occurred.

Avila was taken to Harbor UCLA Medical Center, where he is recovering from broken ribs and minor kidney damage, according to NBC Los Angeles.

The other two surviving victims were listed in critical condition upon being rescued, per the report. Both women were airlifted to a local hospital and are expected to survive.

An investigation into Huitzil's death is ongoing, per the coroner case.

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Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Burton Kelsey does not believe foul play was involved, according to the Associated Press.

"There's no indication at this point that this was anything other than an accident," he told the AP.

There are no trails or lights lining the area where the victims fell off the cliff, according to CBS Los Angeles. Some residents told local outlets that loose soil, tree roots and slippery rocks make the area dangerous — especially at night.

"You have to keep your mind about what you're doing and how you're moving..." said local hiker Rakesh Sharma, per KABC. "You have to be careful, but if you're not from this area and you think you can goof around on the trail, no, that's risky business."

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