The body of Henry “Dick” DeRusha has been released to his family by the Los Angeles County Office of Corner.
The Coroner’s report gives DeRusha’s official cause of death as “multiple blunt force injuries” that occurred in a fall during a hike in the Angeles National Forest.
The body had numerous abrasions, a broken nose and other broken bones, including a possible broken rib.
DeRusha’s elder son David, 40, a Silver Lake resident, said that a coroner’s representative told him that his father experienced “internal bleeding” as a result of the fall.
David DeRusha said he was "grateful" that the representative also told him that his father was probably not conscious for a long time after the fall.
The Coroner’s report says an autopsy was not conducted and the mode of death was “accidental.”
According to the report, DeRusha’s body was found Monday afternoon in the Arroyo Seco river bed, about four miles east of the Angeles Crest Highway.
He had planned to camp there for at least one night and then return.
He son reported him missing Monday morning.
Search and rescue team members discovered his body late that day.
DeRusha, 76, lived in a duplex in downtown Silver Lake with his son, his wife and their three daughters.
He has a second son Joseph, who attended John Marshall High School.
“My dad was against leaving a trail, “ said David DeRusha. ‘He was not a risk taker and would always do things in the safest ways.
DeRusha added that search and rescue team members who discovered his body noted how well-prepared he was for the hike after examining his backpack.
DeRusha taught the industrial arts—autoshop, print shop, photography and welding—at Westminster High for many years.
He was active in progressive politics, and also in the Sierra Club.
According to his son, DeRusha was a fixture on the Sierra Club’s Tuesday and Thursday hikes in Griffith Park
“He will be remembered in a lot of different ways,” said David DeRusha. “He was a mentor, a teacher. And he never let his age stop him.”
DeRusha is survived by his two sons, his wife Bea, his three grandchildren and his cousin Caren Singer, who is also a Silver Lake resident.