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Tuesday, March 26 , 2019, 11:54 am | A Few Clouds 60º


Man Who Died in Fall from Cliffs onto Santa Barbara Beach Was from Montana

The man who died Sunday afternoon after falling from the cliffs onto Hendry’s Beach in Santa Barbara was from Bozeman, Montana, authorities announced Monday.

The victim was identified as Christopher Charles Petaja, 43, said Sgt. John Maxwell of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

Firefighters and other emergency personnel were dispatched at about 2:15 p.m. Sunday to the shoreline about a quarter mile east of Arroyo Burro Beach, according to the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

They found Petaja on the beach with major traumatic injuries, and began CPR and other life-saving efforts, but he eventually was declared dead at the scene.

Petaja likely had fallen from the cliffs leading up to the Douglas Family Preserve, officials said.

"The death appears to be a tragic accident," Maxwell told Noozhawk.

Santa Barbara Police Department spokesman Anthony Wagner said on Monday that there was no evidence of foul play in Petaja's death.

Petaja reportedly was an attorney based in Bozeman.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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