Authorities identify man killed in bluff collapse
Authorities said Thursday Robert Mellone was the 57-year-old tourist from the Las Vegas area who was killed when debris from a sea-bluff collapse fell on him at Torrey Pines State Beach.
He was visiting the coastal park north of La Jolla with his brother and nephew and had just sat down near the precipice to take off his shoes when part of it gave way directly above him shortly before 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to police and the county Medical Examiner’s Office.
Three to five cubic yards of rock and dirt fell about 25 feet onto the Henderson, Nev., resident, partially burying him, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
Mellone’s relatives and other beachgoers dug him out from under basketball-sized stones and earth prior to the arrival of medics, who tried in vain for about 40 minutes to resuscitate him at the scene.
The victim was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour after the accident, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.
Mellone’s brother and nephew, who were playing Frisbee nearby when the accident occurred, told authorities no one else had been injured in the landslide.
Police and lifeguards temporarily closed the beach in the area, known as Flat Rock, and terrain above it in case the cliff remained unstable.
The previous fatal sea-bluff collapse in San Diego County occurred at Carlsbad State Beach about six years ago.