A hiker found dead at the base of a waterfall in Sequoia National Park last week has been identified as David Joseph Hallinan, 53, of Santa Monica.
He died of blunt force trauma, the Tulare County Coroner’s Office said.
His body was found May 12 underwater in Panther Creek.
Hallinan worked as a first assistant director in Hollywood, with credits on dozens of TV shows, including “The Shield” and “Sons of Anarchy,” according to an industry website.
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His friend and colleague Geoff Hansen of Los Angeles said Hallinan was well-liked and respected in the industry, and that his death came as a shock.
“He was way too young,” Hansen said. “He was totally a great guy, a guy you’d want on any show. He had a great demeanor. He had a dry, wry sense of humor.”
Hallinan was married with two children, Hansen said. He was a 1984 graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio.
Paul Schwartzman of Washington, D.C., a college friend, said Hallinan grew up in New York.
“He loved the Yankees, played rugby, devoured history and took up yoga,” he said. “He was hilarious and whip smart.”
Hallinan had been hiking alone and was reported missing May 11, the Park Service said.
A group of hikers had passed him on the Middle Fork Trail earlier that day, but they later found his backpack unattended near a campground at the top of the waterfall and made a call by satellite phone to report it, the park service said.
He was hiking in 90-degree heat and the other hikers said he looked tired.
Park officials believe he ran out of water by the time he reached his campsite. His pack was full and he had not set up a tent. A water bottle was found floating in the pool below the waterfall, and two water bottle lids were found at the top of the waterfall.
They’re not sure how he ended up at the bottom of the waterfall.
Visitors to the park are advised to be careful while swimming or crossing streams and rivers, as they are moving faster than in recent years because of more rain and snow over the winter.