Parents killed when family tumbles from cliff in NY

Scott May  WGRZ

Police in western NY say two adult hikers died and one of their children was hurt after falling from a cliff.

The adults hikers were identified as one male and one female.

The hikers who discovered Amanda, William and Alexander Green were not carrying cellphones, officials said, so they flagged down a third hiker who was then able to call for help.

Alexander was listed in guarded condition Monday at a Buffalo hospital where he was being treated for internal injuries, fractures and a head injury.

The Green family was found in an area of the valley that houses some of the gorge's highest cliffs, which reach up to 400 feet, reported the Buffalo News.

The spokesman said Jacob is in good condition with a broken right arm and ankle.

Rescuers found the couple's 7-year-old son, Jacob, walking nearby.

Hikers came upon the adults' bodies, Howard said.

Authorities believe the parents and Alexander fell about 200 feet (60 meters) down the cliff, but they are not sure why. So it i like anything else, you do not want to get to close to the edge The gorge is 100 to 200 feet above the level of the stream. Alexander was found with them. It wasn't clear whether he was with his family during the fatal accident - or whether he fell from the cliff at all.

'It's a risky area. "I've worked 40 years in Zoar Valley, and the rescue people know it's unsafe", Gowanda Fire Chief Nick Crassi, who helped with the search-and-rescue efforts, told the paper. 'There's a lot of cliffs and there's no safety devices'.

The tragedy unfolded Sunday in the Zoar Valley, a popular hiking and kayaking spot 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Buffalo.

"We are grateful for the outpouring of thoughts and prayers from the Western New York community".

Since 2005, the gorge has been the scene of several deaths and rescue operations after hikers got hurt or lost. "We are assisting the family through this hard time and are distributing the following statement on their behalf".

"This tragic event has left us with empty hearts and without words", the statement said.

Family members said they were focused on the couple's "two little boys" and would "share additional information at the appropriate time".

It was a family hike or camping outing that brought the Green family to scenic Zoar Valley Gorge, a 3,000-acre wild preserve covered with thick forest and hard terrain that Zylka told WBEN radio was as "equally gorgeous as it is unsafe".



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