18-year-old New Albany senior dies after accidental fall at Clifty Falls State Park
The 18-year-old man who fell to his death at Clifty Falls Park in Indiana Tuesday afternoon has been identified.
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- The hallways of New Albany High School may be empty this week, but the Bulldogs have suffered a devastating loss.
The 18-year-old man who fell to his death at Clifty Falls Park in Indiana on Tuesday afternoon has been identified as Jacob Trulock, a Sellersburg native and senior at New Albany.
"I was like wow, I can't believe that happened," said Trevor Laughead, a student at New Albany High School. "I was like, I played dodge ball with that guy a couple of weeks ago."
Laughead and Travis Miller are underclassmen and didn't know Trulock well, but they say his reputation was known throughout the school.
"I heard that he was really smart, and he used to help everybody with math and whatever," Laughead. "He used to tutor everybody and help everyone ... a great guy."
"I mean, it's really saddening to see ... someone who had so much going for him," Miller said. "He was like a really intelligent guy."
Trulock died while hiking with a friend at Clifty Falls State Park. The park is big, and warning signs are posted, but officers said the signs are often ignored.
Lt. Beville explained, "We just make a very real effort to try to get that message to stay on the trail, stay within the boundaries, pay attention to the signs," said Indiana conservation officer Lt. Bill Beville.
Lt. Beville said the teens were hiking on an elevated trail when Trulock slipped.
"They went on a trail that took them above Hoffman Falls, and when they cross the creek, they decided to get off the trail, unfortunately.
"It is heartbreaking anytime we lose a young life unnecessarily."
School officials will likely provide grief councilors next week, but some students are already learning from this tragedy.
"Just take nothing for granted," Laughead said. "Take every second of life like it's your last."
Meanwhile, it took first responders several hours to bring the teen's body from the bottom of the falls to a nearby road.
Indiana conservation officers are investigating the incident. Foul play is not suspected.
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