Revelle freshman Gilbert F.D. Nunez Jr. fell to his death from atop the cliffs above Blacks Beach Saturday at about 5 p.m. He was 18.
Nunez and some of his friends had gone to the cliffs to study just after 4 p.m. The victim strayed away from the group to climb on a rock situated on the edge of the cliff when he lost his balance and fell.
Lifeguards estimate that Nunez descended nearly 200 feet before landing on the beach below.
“”He was an avid climber — he was practically a monkey,”” recalls Revelle freshman Becky Bowen, a friend of Nunez’s. “”He was climbing and slipped and fell to his death.””
Several people walking along the shore saw the victim plummet down the cliff. Shortly thereafter, paramedics from La Jolla’s engine company No. 9 arrived on scene along with San Diego lifeguards. CPR was performed, but there was little anyone could do to save the fallen student.
Those that knew Nunez describe him as the type of person that everyone loved.
“”He was a friend to all of us,””said Jennifer Pae, a friend of Nunez’s. “”He loved to make people laugh, he was so much fun to be around. He was the only person who knew everyone in the building. He was such a friendly, loving person, and that’s what makes it so difficult, because he was so close to everyone.””
When students heard of the accident, they immediately came together and took action. Some went to the cliff where the accident happened to lay flowers in memory of their friend. Others plan to hold a candlelight vigil this week.
By Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the accident took place, family members had arrived at Revelle College’s Atlantis Hall to retrieve Nunez’s belongings.
Students could hardly maintain their composure as they assisted Nunez’s father in moving his belongings out of his room. Some openly wept as they packed boxes filled with personal items into a rented U-Haul trailer.
Others wrapped their arms around those that were overtaken by the reality that their friend was gone.
Perhaps the most emotional moment took place when several students presented the victim’s father with a picture frame containing a poem written especially for his son. The poem was surrounded by a dozen photographs of Nunez with his suitemates and friends taken at UCSD.
Several friends worked through the night to finish the project in time to present it to the Nunez family.
More than 20 students and several family members then held hands and formed a circle in the parking lot to remember their friend one last time.
Each bowed their heads in respect, and some offered a few words in memory of their good friend.
As the family prepared to depart, one student brought a bouquet of flowers to the victim’s father. At that moment, many students broke down crying.
As one person ran to get tissues, the last of Nunez’s belongings were packed up. Family members thanked the students one last time for their support before they left UCSD for the long journey home.
“”You got to kind of remember what he did, and not just what happened recently,”” said Graham Lubinsky, a Revelle freshman and suitemate of Nunez’s. “”He led a full life. He had an impact on everyone he dealt with, and that’s what you have to remember. You can’t be upset forever about one incident — you just got to keep him in your heart.””