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Safety concerns raised after hiker found dead in Mission Trails Park

Posted at 7:07 PM, Feb 01, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- There is a call to action to build a bridge where the body of 21-year-old Max Lenail was found. Lenail’s mother and a Facebook memorial page dedicated to Lenail is calling on the city to install a bridge over the San Diego River off of Mission Trails Park.

The hiking trail crosses the river. On Friday when Max set off to hike San Diego experienced heavy hail and rainstorms. The current was very strong when Lenail fell and hit his head.

His mother Laurie Yoler went back to the spot her son died on Sunday. She says she was shocked by what she witnessed. “We saw families and children struggling to cross with the current and the mossy rocks. We saw a dog slip and get nearly washed away right where my son was killed. I watched in terror....I can’t believe there isn’t a sign or bridge. It’s the only way to cross over the trail,” said Yoler.

Lenail was a very experienced climber and hiker. He was a student at Brown University and had aspired to be a doctor.

He had moved to San Diego weeks ago to pursue his love for the outdoors while he was remote learning during the pandemic.

We reached out to the City’s Parks and Recreation Department for comment but have not heard back.