DALY CITY (KPIX) – A heartbreaking recovery unfolded at Thornton State Beach Monday after a 67-year-old man fell down a 500-foot cliff while he was trying to rescue his dog.

The Golden Gate National Park ranger said the man’s dog got away from him, and when he tried to go after it he slipped to his death.

Long after the fatal fall, the man’s dog continued pacing and barking on a perch, as is if to sense something was wrong.

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“The dog knows if you are hurt and sometimes with the cliff they get overstimulated and don’t know all the facts,” says dog walker Kyle Moreno.

This is a popular area for dog walkers. Tedd Leblanc of Daly City and his friends were out hiking Monday. He says the terrain is steep.

“Sometimes things can move around. You gotta be careful. Always be on alert because rocks can tumble.”

Body Found on Beach in Daly City

Crews removed a body found below a cliff at Thornton State Beach. A dog, believed to be owned by the victim, can be seen in upper right corner of the frame. (CBS)

Rescuers airlifted the man’s body from the bottom of the cliff.

Later they helped the dog get back up the steep cliff and gave it to the victim’s family.

Park rangers say there are no leash laws in place, but advise dogwalkers to put their animals on a leash or make sure they respond to voice control.

The area is home to beautiful scenic trails but it is very steep.

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report

Comments (38)
  1. Barb Chipman says:

    How terribly sad. Maybe he panicked. So sorry for your loss.

  2. It wasn’t the fall that killed him, it was that sudden stop at the end!

  3. That was uncalled for. Jesus can make a dying bed feel soft as downy pillows are.

  4. Nothing like a sensationalized bit of fake news to exaggerate a story with misleading headlines. There are no 500′ cliffs in that area of the California coast line. I have no doubt the man died and that is sad but 500′ is a big stretch of the truth.

    1. Tam Cohen says:

      You are correct Sir. The cliffs at Thornton State Beach are about 200′ high.

  5. Paige Cohen says:

    RIP Sir.
    In a world where animals are abused daily, you have showed us that goodness still exists.

  6. At least you tried… but still FAILED; Have a good day saving Africa and the rest of mankind and other fish in the sea.

    1. Sammy Behot says:

      This person who died was a lot kinder than Darwin. Darwin was ruthless and cruel to animals. From the book “The Dark Side Of Darwin”, it states that he enjoyed catching birds and crushing their heads with a hammer. On his trip to the Galapagos Islands, he had taken extra ammo and rifles so that he could shoot more natives and cannibals. After all why would he not behave this way. He believed he evolved from apes and that put him on top of so called intelligent life. It is a lie that he ever repented of he sins before dying. He died as his own god, spurring Christ’s gift of salvation, and to that end will be in the Lake of Fire forever.

  7. tony409 says:

    Fencing along the whole coast to prevent this from ever happening again

    Governor Moonbeam

  8. Last summer, I was sitting in a parking lot in my truck. It was hot while I waited for my wife to get out of the store when a liberal came up screaming at me for having my dog in the truck sitting right next to me. This liberal thought it was too hot for my dog, but not for me. This is how liberalism dehumanizes non-liberals by making animals more important.

    So, to prove my respect for this liberal’s wishes, I will only mourn this dog’s passing.

  9. John Jupiter says:

    dog lovers………try using a collar and a LEASH on your precious animal………then they can’t get away and cause harm to others or to YOU.

  10. Is California a lunatic asylum? The “dogs don’t know all the facts”??? What?

  11. 67 years of life on this Earth. You think he would know better. I’ll be interested to hear what the dog has to say. I think it may have lured the old man to the edge and pushed him off. I’m sure it will try using that old chestnut about dogs having terrible short-term memory. It won’t be able to explain the jars of peanut butter and KY in the old man’s backpack. Like most crimes, before carrying out this terrible deed, this dog was pushed to the edge.

  12. Ford Hanson says:

    That is so sad. RIP
    Best to call for help in a dicey situation like that.
    Also shame of people make flippant and rude comments about a man dying in an accident.

  13. If he had kept his dog on a leash this would have never happened. So tragic and so very preventable.

  14. He slipped on a pile of human feces and landed in a pile of used needles…a twofer.