Family and friends gathered in Encinitas Wednesday evening to honor a beloved member of the community who died tragically last week after falling from a cliff.
Ian Barry, 22, was a fixture in the North County, known by his friends in the skateboarding community as “Poods” because his hair was curly like a poodle.
Last Thursday morning, he was found unconscious at Beacon’s Beach at the base of a 100-foot cliff in Leucadia State Beach.
According to authorities, the Encinitas resident appeared to have fallen from the cliff above the beach. By the time medics got to him, he was unconscious and was transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla with life-threatening injuries. Barry was pronounced dead a few hours later.
Barry lived in Encinitas with his parents and worked at the clothing company Brixton in Oceanside. He loved skateboarding and riding motorcycles and even built his own motorcycle from scratch, friends said.
His loved ones were devastated by the news of his abrupt death last week. On Wednesday evening, they celebrated Barry’s life with a motorcycle ride along Solana Beach.
About 100 people on motorcycles and in cars met at the Pannikin café in Encinitas around 4:30 p.m. for a special memorial ride honoring Barry. The group headed south to Solana Beach, circling back to the Encinitas Community Center in time for Barry’s heartfelt memorial service.
Attendees said the well-known skateboarder was active in the Encinitas community and loved by many.
“[He was] the best dude ever. He would go out of his way for anything [and] anybody,” said friend Chris Henry.
Barry also had an affinity for the great outdoors.
“[He] love life, loved nature,” recalled friend Rudy Saldivar.
For that very reason, Saldivar said Barry loved the 100-foot cliff overlooking the ocean at the end of North El Portal Street. Sadly, that’s where his life ended on Sept. 27.
“From what we gather and what police gather, he fell asleep there, probably was asleep until about two in the morning stood up and literally just walked right off [the cliff],” explained Saldivar.
For many loved ones, the reality of Barry’s death still hasn’t quote sunk in.
“It's still not real to me. I've been with all of my friends for the past seven days, it's too tough to believe,” friend Ralph Saldivar told NBC 7.
For Barry's family, the way he died only magnifies their heartache. “
“He was a great guy. He deserved not to go this way, but life isn’t fair,” said Barry’s uncle Jeffrey Brown.
And though the pain of losing Barry will linger for friends and family, his loved ones vowed to remember the way Barry lived, and how he touched so many with his friendship and kindness.
"Everybody here will take a piece of him home and put it to work. I'm very sure of that,” added Brown.