William Beinlich, 18, has been identified as the teenager that tragically fell to his death at Hocking Hills State Park, while hiking on Sunday.
The 18-year old Chicago native wandered off the trail and slipped off a 60-feet cliff while hiking near Old Man's Cave, according to authorities.
The Purdue freshman fell into the freezing falls water at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Sunday and was unable to be resuscitated by a fellow hiker, who performed CPR on him. He was pronounced dead on the scene once emergency crews arrived.
Officials believe the cause of death as a closed head injury, as Hocking County coroner Dave Cummin told reporters that Beinlich struck his head multiple times. The coroner told reporters that the college freshman traveled to the falls to meet his girlfriend and her family there for a family reunion before his tragic death.
Park officials say the tragic death could have been avoided if Beinlich had stayed on the marked trail up Hockings Hill.
Currently, we have signage at all of our entrances warning of cliffs and unfortunately we do have people that fall every year, Hocking Hills manager Chris Grupenhof told WOUB News. This was a very unfortunate case that this individual fell and did die. We currently have a lot of the signage up right now so we do everything we can do to educate people.
It's very important that visitors stay on the constructed trail. Those are known safe areas. We maintain those areas.
A Facebook dedication page, In loving memory of William Edward Beinlich, has been created for people to post their thoughts about the young man and already close to 650 people have liked the page.
Alex Nowak wrote I am so sorry to hear this. You were such a dynamic figure in class and I always appreciated your company, even if it was for such a brief time in my life. I pray for all of those that knew you. Rest in peace Will.
Betsey Van de Heijning wrote, We are so sorry for your loss. We were at Old Man's Cave shortly after the accident and we have been praying for all of his family and friends since. :(