Student Found Dead at Base of Scenic American Waterfall


A California college student has died after falling near a Monterey County waterfall.

Kenneth Aspen Taylor, 21, was pronounced dead April 6 after rescue authorities responded to the scene of an accident on a trail south of Big Sur, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The accident occurred in a remote area without cellphone service near the Salmon Creek Falls, described as 12 stories tall.

Witnesses contacted an individual who reported the incident to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office.

Taylor was found at the base of the waterfall, according to KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara.

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Foul play is not suspected in his death, authorities said.

Access to the area in question is obstructed as a result of the collapse of part of California State Highway 1, which was damaged amid heavy rains in March.

As a result, rescue personnel from San Luis Obispo County had to respond to the scene of the incident.

Taylor was a student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, which mourned him in a statement posted by its Office of the Dean of Students.

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“Kenneth was an outdoor enthusiast: he was a founding member of the Alpine Club, participated in activities with the Surfrider Foundation, and served as a trip leader for ASI Poly Escapes,” the university said.

“ASI staff described him as ‘a person of incredible technical skill and even more incredible kindness, unmatched wittiness, and a passion for adventure that could inspire anyone.'”

The deceased had been a third-year mechanical engineering student at the university.

He was known by the nickname “Kenneth Squared” to members of the university community, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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A memorial service for Taylor was held on Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s campus on Friday.

In memory of Taylor’s passion for the outdoors, the deceased’s family requested that attendees wear a flannel shirt in his honor.

“What stood out to me about Kenneth was how positive and passionate he was,” Kenneth Bevens, one of Taylor’s friends, told the Times.

“If you needed help with photography, with safety instruction, rock climbing tips or whatever, he always helped,” Bevens said.

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