Being an adventurous type, friends say Cuesta student Sean Aversano always wanted to climb to the top of the Cal Poly radio tower.
He attempted the feat on Sept. 13.
But later that day, a hiker found the 18-year-old San Luis Obispo native at the base of the tower, already deceased.
“It was his goal to climb the radio tower…and I guess he did it,” said Geo Gabrielle, a long-time friend.
Officials said they are unaware of other incidents regarding people attempting to climb the radio tower.
Friends of Aversano say he may have tried to scale the tower before.
Autopsy results indicate the manner in which he died was from blunt force trauma, authorities said, adding that no foul play was involved.
Services for Aversano were held on Sept. 22 at the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.
Aversano graduated from San Luis Obispo High School in June and was enrolled in Cuesta College with an undeclared major. He had plans to follow in his father’s footsteps of becoming a firefighter, according Sharps.
“He had been training for the fire department all summer to be on an engine, but he was too young,” Sharps said. “So he was waiting until next summer to be able to go.”
Leslie O’Conner, SLO High School principal, described Aversano as a “hippie soul,” “fun loving,” and as having a “heart of gold”.
Friends said Aversano liked listening to music from the 70’s and the 80’s, and spent most of his time outside being active. They described Aversano as a “free spirit” and one of the “cool kids” that could make anyone fall in love with life.
“He knew that everything and everyone had a purpose and he loved life more than anyone I’ve ever met,” Sharps said.
Aversano was also known for his enthusiasm in football. He played for eight years alongside Gabrielle, who is now at Santa Barbara City College.
After winning one of his high school games, O’Conner remembered how Aversano told his football coach, “That was the greatest game. I’m so glad we won”. That single memory left a profound impact on football coach Patrick Johnston, O’Conner said.
O’Conner also recalled how Aversano made graduation day memorable. The ceremony had begun, but Aversano was nowhere to be found. Just then, a nearby train sounded its horn just as Aversano came running across the field. The moment he stood in his row the train went silent.
“Even the train is happy you’re here,” O’Conner recalled telling Aversano, who smiled back with a wildly grin.
Aversano was described as having a tight-knit family that helped instill his soulful personality; friends say he will be missed.
“He was always the best person to be around. He is an amazing individual […] who liked to write and watch the sunset and sunrise,” Sharps said. “He mostly loved spreading happiness to everyone and getting them to think a little more about the little things.”