West Chester Teen Who Fell Off Cliff Planned to Be a Doctor

Seventeen-year-old died Monday while on a family vacation in California.

A West Chester 17-year-old died Monday after falling off a Northern California cliff while visiting the San Franciso area with his family.

Andrew Leonard Hicks, a Henderson High School student, was hiking with five family members at Muir Beach in Marin County, Calif. when he and his younger brother Kyle ran ahead and stopped at a bluff to wait for the rest of the family, Hicks’ mother told a school district spokesman.

Andrew wanted to get a better view and thought it would be safer if he sat down to look at the view. When he did, he slipped and fell off the cliff, according to his mother. It happened around 1 p.m. Monday

Andrew’s brother Kyle ran to get the rest of the family, and his father climbed down the cliff hoping to save him. National Park Service lifeguards found the teen’s body and brought it to Muir Beach to meet officials from the coroner’s office.

Hicks’ mother said that she was upset by reports that Andrew was “goofing around” before the fall. This was not the case, she told the school district.

Andrew was going to be a great member of his community, school district spokesman Rob Partidge said. He was well-liked by his classmates and highly regarded by his teachers, according to district officials. Friends had already set up a memorial Facebook page for Andrew by Tuesday morning.

“Hicks, I just had a dream that we were at camp again and I was beating u at tennis...again” Matt Westlake wrote on the tribute page. “I’m gonna miss you so much dude, I keep expecting you to come back from cali with a broken arm, but not this. I love you bud. I miss you.”

Andrew was a member of the B. Reed Henderson High School Class of 2011. He played varsity ice hockey and soccer, volunteered for the Allied Health program with Chester County Hospital. He planned to be a doctor, Partridge said.

Funeral arrangements are pending as the family is still in California.

Fan, follow and download: Get the latest from NBCPhiladelphia.com anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and NBC Philadelphia. Sign up for our breaking news newsletter. And, get breaking news delivered right to your mobile phone -- just text PHIBREAKING to 639710 to sign up. (Message and data rates may apply.)

Contact Us