Teen's Death Prompts Closure of Cedar Creek Falls

The U.S. Forest Service implemented a 72-hour closure for the popular hiking destination

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    The U.S. Park Service has closed Cedar Creek Falls for the next three days.

    The U.S. Forest Service is closing Cedar Creek Falls in Julian for three days following the Wednesday death of a 16-year-old El Cajon resident. This includes the trail heads, two main trails going in and the Cedar Creek Falls general area.

    A long-term closure is to follow for an indefinite amount of time, according to public information officer for the U.S. Forest Service Brian Harris.

    Popular Hiker Spot Shut Down

    [DGO] Popular Hiker Spot Shut Down
    Cedar Creek Falls is closed while officials focus on educating the public after Joseph Meram, a 16-year-old from El Cajon, died Wednesday falling down a cliff. (Published Thursday, Jul 7, 2011)

    The park was also closed Wednesday for the investigation of the teenager’s death. The victim, Joseph Meram, was hiking with his family when he slipped and fell down a steep cliff, landing in the water below. He was pronounced dead en route to a hospital.

    “It has certainly become more of a dangerous site than it has in the past,” Harris said.

    The emergency closure is not standard after a fatality. Harris said the abundance of water coming over the falls is one of the reasons the site is more dangerous.

    “Normally for this time of the year, (the water) would be down to a trickle,” he said.

    Instead, water levels are much higher because of last winter’s abnormally rainy weather. 

    San Diego County Sheriff's Department representative Jan Caldwell said they are working on an education campaign to make sure people know dangers of hiking the trail.


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