Sad story that’s been circulating about a hiker who had a fatal fall near here.

Predictably, the rumor mill went a bit into overdrive when this was first reported, with at least one Bay Area (non-print) media outlet reporting that he had been texting when he slipped off the cliff.

Seems like texting/emailing/cell-phones get to be the scapegoat for a lot these days, from train wrecks to bad drivers. Wasn’t the case here, which is good, as I could just imagine the CA state legislature mulling a no-texting-while-hiking ban.

In any case, follow-up reports have pretty conclusively said that was not the case with Monday’s Muir Beach tragedy, based on reports from eyewitnesses and relatives.

Here’s the Associated Press story below.

MUIR BEACH (AP) — Officials say a 17-year-old Pennsylvania boy was trying to get a better view of the Pacific Ocean when he he plunged 400 feet to his death from a cliff south of Muir Beach.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area spokeswoman Alexandra Picavet says Andrew Leonard Hicks Jr. fell around 1 p.m. Monday.

Family members told investigators he had taken a seat at the edge of the cliff at a particularly scenic spot along a coastal trail. He was repositioning himself when he apparently fell.

His younger brother, who was with him, ran back to alert other family members.

Picavet says Hicks’ father climbed down to where his son had fallen and rescuers were called, but the boy could not be resuscitated.

The family was visiting from West Chester, Pa., which is about 25 miles west of Philadelphia.