17-year-old falls off cliff, dies at Lands End

- A 17-year old girl who fell more than 300 feet off a cliff at Lands End in San Francisco has been identfied as Saint Ignatius College Preparatory student Tori LaRocca.

Emergency responders tell KTVU that LaRocca, who lived in Corte Madera, was hiking Thursday evening in one of the highest spots of the park with two friends. It's an area that is restricted to the public, but it's a popular spot among park visitors because of its breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Friends say LaRocca and her girlfriends had laid a blanket in the spot located above Mile Rock Beach and behind the Legion of Honor, when LaRocca slipped and fell.

News of LaRocca's death sent shockwaves through the SI community, the high school's second tragedy this year.

In the fall, a senior committed suicide. Friends described La Rocca as "sweet", "fun", "loved by all", and had "a beautiful soul." She was set to graduate in 2018.

Emergency crews received the 911 call just before 6:30 p.m.

The fall was so far, it was faster for National Park lifeguards to get to LaRocca by jetski, rather than the San Francisco Fire Department's rescue ropes team. The teen suffered massive head trauma, was in the water for at least 10 minutes and later died in the ambulance.

Today friends dropped off flowers at the spot close to where La Rocca fell.

"Oh, and it just kills me to think of someone falling over there, especially a young girl. It's terrible," said Lori Lutrell, an avid hiker at Lands End. The accident happened in an area Lutrell frequents, even though it's restricted to the public.

"[The edge] is incredibly dangerous," said Lutrell. "And with all of the rains that we've had there's a lot of grass that kind of covers the edge and I can see how it would be very easy to slip right over. I mean I get nervous over there."

Back in October of 2014, a 26-year-old Seattle woman, Randi Salmon, plunged to her death in the same spot.
Lori Lutrell says there are danger signs posted, but she's an experienced hiker and goes through at her own risk. A fence consisting of a few wooden posts and wires is supposed to ward people off but, KTVU noticed several people bypassing the fence with ease.

A well-worn path can be seen in just beyond the fence.

"Maybe more parents need to instill in their kids, 'Hey! There are reasons for these laws and these guidelines and if there's a fence there, don't cross it'" said Susi Graf of Los Gatos.

Critics argue the signage isn't bold enough and that there should be more fencing closer to the edge to alert people to the sheer drop.

National Park Service spokesperson Sonja Hanson said the Park will look into the matter.

Park Police won't be speaking about the investigation until Monday.

Toxicology reports are not yet available which would show if there were any drugs or alcohol in LaRocca's system.

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