SAN DIEGO — A man fell to his death Friday morning while climbing the U.S.-Mexico border wall near Otay Mesa, police said.
The incident happened around 4:40 a.m. near Drucker Lane and Kearns Street, San Diego police told FOX 5. The man was climbing the wall from the Mexico side when he fell and died from his injuries at the scene.
Police joined U.S. Border Patrol at the scene.
No information about the man’s identity was immediately available.
Just last week, researchers with UC San Diego published a study on an “unprecedented,” five-time increase in the number of people getting badly hurt in falls from the border wall.
Physicians with the university’s medical center attribute the rise in injuries to a recent height increase from a range of 8 to 17 feet to 30 feet.
“The height increase of the border wall along the San Ysidro and El Centro sectors was touted as making the barrier ‘unclimbable,’ but that has not stopped people from attempting to do so with consequential results,” wrote Dr. Amy Liepert, the director of acute care surgery at UCSD Health.
“This is an unseen public health crisis happening right now and it has significantly affected major local health care providers in San Diego.”
From 2016 to 2019, before then-President Donald Trump’s administration raised the wall, UCSD Health treated people from 67 “trauma-related incidents” involving falls from the border wall. That number increased to 375 between 2019 and 2021.
Researchers also noted that 16 people have died in falls from the wall since 2019. No one died in that manner during the three years preceding the change.