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NEWBURY PARK : Man Dies of Injuries in Fall From Cliff

A Newbury Park man has died of head injuries he suffered in a drunken fall from a seaside cliff in Isla Vista, Santa Barbara County authorities said Tuesday.

Brian Scott Miller, 21, a UCLA engineering student, was killed when he plunged over a fence at a party about 1:30 a.m. Sunday and smashed his head on rocks in the surf line 55 feet below, Santa Barbara County Deputy Coroner Larry Gillespie said.

Friend Jason Pratt said Miller was a very good student who expected to graduate in January.

“He wanted to be a DEA agent,” Pratt said. “That was the thing he talked about every day. He was really against drugs.”

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But friends told police that Miller had been drinking all afternoon and evening Saturday with friends from the Thousand Oaks area at another friend’s apartment in the cliff-side neighborhood of Del Playa, Gillespie said.

“At some point, he felt he had to vomit,” Gillespie said. “He went to the fence that surrounds the patio--it comes up to about your waist--and feeling the need apparently to lean or bend over even further . . . he stood up on a little bench which gave him a little more altitude and a worse center of balance.”

Miller lost balance and fell, Gillespie said. Friends pulled him out of the surf, but Santa Barbara County paramedics were unable to revive him, he said.

Miller’s blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.20%, 2 1/2 times the level of 0.08% that triggers drunk-driving charges, Gillespie said.

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Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Mortuary in Westlake Village.

Miller was the fourth person in the last three months to fall off the cliffs along Del Playa, which are lined with apartments and sometimes frequented by party-goers, Sheriff’s Sgt. Eric George said.


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